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Salman makes changes in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s new king has moved swiftly, putting new faces in power and retiring older ones. Ali Naimi remains oil minister, but his future is less clear

The Saudi leadership’s transition to the next generation of princes – grandsons of Ibn Saud, the founder of the kingdom – came sooner than expected and with less fuss than many had anticipated. Far from being a stop-gap head of state, King Salman is clearly determined to put his own stamp on the monarchy. This means in large measure creating a more youthful-looking and streamlined state apparatus. The daily al-Riyadh newspaper, which tends to reflect court thinking, pointed out in a recent editorial that many of the younger princes are “well qualified, knowledgeable about the world at large, and well versed in contemporary cultures, languages and techniques”. It was time, the paper said, th

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