FaceOf: Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Saudi foreign minister

Ibrahim al-Assaf a former finance minister is set to replace Adel al Jubeir as the foreign ministerMore

Gen. Khalid bin Qirar Al Harbi has been appointed as the head of general security.

It also calls for the reorganisation of the second sub-Cabinet committee - The Council of Economic and Development Affairs - to which 22 ministers report.

"The primary bone of contention between Saudi Arabia and American lawmakers is the power of Prince Mohammed and his responsibility for the murder of Khashoggi", said Ryan Bohl, from the U.S. geopolitical think tank Stratfor.

Assaf had been serving as a minister of state before being named foreign minister.

Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal has replaced Turki Al Sheikh as president of the Sports Authority, while Turki Al Sheikh has been appointed as Chairman of the Entertainment Authority.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has been relieved from his position and moved to a post of a minister of state for foreign affairs, the Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday, citing a royal decree. But al-Jubeir, whose title was changed to minister of state for foreign affairs, will in practice remain the kingdom's top diplomat, a senior official said.

The change, which looks like a clear demotion for al-Jubeir, who was demoted, comes following pressure being put on Riyadh over its military campaign in Yemen and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Mr Assaf was detained briefly in the Crown Prince's anti-corruption crackdown last year but was released within weeks of his detention at Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel last year. "There is an effort to balance the fast pace of reform with bolstering government procedures and institutions".

The kingdom will now have three government bodies aimed at improving its intelligence operations.

Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consul general in Istanbul, which is administered by the foreign ministry. The kingdom denies the crown prince had any involvement.

Al-Jubeir was an adamant champion of the Saudi campaign in Yemen as he repeatedly defended Riyadh's actions as well as the blockade of the country ravaged by conflict and plagued by starvation and cholera epidemic.

After the reshuffle, Prince Mohammed is set to maintain his political and security posts, including that of defence minster.

"This reshuffle doesn't undercut the crown prince, meaning that those within the US Congress who want to see his role reduced will have an argument that further action should still be taken".

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