Veteran Saudi oil minister dismissed, indicating strengthening of king’s son

Saudi Arabia's King Salman announced a series of changes in the Saudi government on Saturday in line with the country's "Vision 2030" economic and social reform plan announced at the end of April. Ali al-Naimi, who served since 1995 as oil minister, was replaced by Khalid al-Falih, chairman of state-run oil giant Aramco. The petroleum ministry was disbanded, and in its place the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources was established. Other changes were the appointment of a new health minister, the replacement of the governor of the central bank, and the establishment of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture instead of the water ministry.
DEBKAfile sources: These steps, especially in the oil field, indicate that the person behind them is Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the king's son. These changes boost the 30-year-old prince's influence in the security, economic, military and oil fields.  

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