Saudi Arabia on Friday announced the creation of a new natural resources ministry, separating it from the energy ministry while replacing the head of the royal court in a series of official decrees.
Bandar al-Khorayef, a top business executive, was appointed ahead of the new ministry of industry and mineral resources as the world’s top crude exporter seeks to diversify its oil-reliant economy.
Other royal decrees published on state media named Fahd al-Essa as head of the royal court, the center of power and politics in the absolute monarchy.
Essa is a royal insider said to be close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler and heir apparent.
Former information minister Awwad al-Awwad was appointed a head of the human rights commission, while Mazen al-Kahmous was named a new chairman of the national anti-corruption commission.
The shake-up comes ahead of the first anniversary in October of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.