King Fahd reshuffles Saudi cabinet

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd has sacked his education and social affairs ministers in a cabinet reshuffle that also saw the pilgrimage and cultural ministers swapping portfolios.

    Due to poor health, King Fahd takes little part in government

    A royal decree on Tuesday dismissed Education Minister Muhammad Ahmad al-Rashid and replaced him with Abd Allah bin Salih al-Ubaid, chairman of Saudi Arabia's human rights watchdog.

    Also fired was Social Affairs Minister Ali bin Ibrahim Namla, who was replaced with Abd al-Muhsin bin Abd al-Aziz al-Akkas, a former boss of the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

    Culture and Information Minister Fuad Abd al-Sallam Muhammad Farsi and Pilgrimage Minister Iyad bin Amin Madani swapped portfolios.

    No explanation was given for the cabinet reshuffle - the second in the oil-rich desert country since April 2004.

    The last ministerial change took place when the labour and social affairs portfolio was split into two ministries.

    King Fahd also carried out a reshuffle in 2003, bringing in five new faces.

    Ministers are appointed for four-year terms.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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