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Young Saudi prince with Western experience named foreign minister

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Young Saudi prince with Western experience named foreign minister

By Stephen Kalin



FILE PHOTO: New ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Germany Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud poses for the media after his diplomatic accreditation at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia appointed a prince with diplomatic experience in Western capitals as foreign minister on Wednesday in a partial cabinet reshuffle as the kingdom tries to mend its international image and prepares to take over the Group of 20 presidency.


Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud had served for the last several months as ambassador to Germany and earlier as political adviser at the Washington embassy. His previous business career in the defence industry included chairmanship of a joint venture with planemaker Boeing <BA.N>.


Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in confronting Iran, has faced intense Western criticism over its human rights record, including over last year's murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its involvement in the devastating war in Yemen.


Prince Faisal joins a new cadre of top Saudi diplomats in their 40s, including the ambassadors to the United States and Britain, who are siblings.


"Look at the team being put together in DC, London, and now with the new foreign minister... Consolidation deepens and a pro-Western crew is in place," said Neil Quilliam, senior research fellow at Britain's Chatham House think-tank.


"It is a move to outsmart Iran in all the capitals and at the U.N. This is a new form of pushback."


Saudi Arabia is trying to build consensus to contain the missile programme of its regional foe after the Trump administration withdrew from a deal that put limits on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.


Washington and Riyadh blame Iran for a series of recent attacks, including a Sept. 14 strike on key Saudi oil sites. Iran denies responsibility.


Saudi Arabia's young diplomats are part of a new generation of royals, including several other ministers and deputy governors, who have risen to power under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 34.


The de facto ruler of the world's top oil exporter has the support of many Saudi youth as he pushes to diversify the economy and open the ultra-conservative society up to the world. But his reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent including the arrest of scores of critics.


As part of Wednesday's reshuffle announced in state media, Saleh al-Jasser, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, replaced Nabil al-Amoudi as transport minister.


It was unclear if Amoudi would remain in government. He was appointed last month to the board of Saudi Aramco as part of top management changes in the kingdom's energy sector as the state oil giant prepares for a partial share flotation as early as this year.


Outgoing foreign minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, who had earlier served as finance minister for years, remains a minister of state. He was appointed less than a year ago to restructure the ministry.


(Additional reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek in Cairo and Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; Editing by Chris Reese, Andrew Cawthorne and Sonya Hepinstall)




-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-24

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If the „Greta-„ism is continuing then (starting with the Western) governments have to facilitate renewable energy sources, be it solar, wind etc.
This will make the planet more and more independent from those goat chasers in Saudi Arabia and the cameliers will be left behind drinking their own oil. 

Definitely too late in the season, compared to others like Qatar; the Saudis burnt the candle at both ends and now slowly, slowly start to realize, that solid gold bodied cars might be fancy but are not sustainable.


The proxy war is in the making and Iran is being stirred oncemore again (remember the CIAs „help“ in putting the Shah onto the Persian throne 70 years ago?), the Russians (then the Soviets) get their supplies from Iran and the pipelines go through Syria which explains the rest. 


If you put Saudi Arabia onto any board, be it G20 or human rights desk of the UN, then you can forget about all those organizations simply because you can get a Saudi out of Saudi Arabia into an ambassadorial residence in Germany, US or UK ..... BUT you cannot get Saudi Arabia out of a Saudi! 

Good luck to all those involved ..... and, as the saying goes, don’t count your chicken ...........

Wondering how the Jews in Israel actually have to accept the US shoulder rubbing while the Zionists literally run DC, the East coast and Wall Street .... seriously?


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