Home > News > Regional
Tuesday July 1, 2014 MYT 4:04:00 PM
Tuesday July 1, 2014 MYT 4:07:52 PM
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Saudi King Abdullah appointed a new spy chief, giving the job to the former deputy defence minister days after sacking him from that post, SPA state news agency reported Tuesday.
Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz had been unexpectedly removed from his post on Saturday at the request of his boss the defence minister, after only 45 days on the job.
There was no reason for his sacking but early Tuesday the SPA said that Prince Khaled had been appointed "head of the General Intelligence with a minister rank" by royal decree.
The announcement comes after jihadists spearheading a Sunni militant offensive in Iraq have declared on Sunday an "Islamic caliphate", ordering Muslims around the world to pledge allegiance to their chief.
Last week Abdullah slammed the jihadists, who are also active in Syria, and instructed authorities to take "necessary measures" to defend his oil-rich kingdom amid fears the Iraq offensive could spill over into Saudi Arabia.
Prince Khaled will take over from Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the kingdom's former pointman on the Syrian conflict who headed the intelligence service for two years until April.
A separate royal decree reported by SPA named Prince Bandar as an "advisor to the king and his special envoy".
Prince Bandar, a former ambassador to the United States, is widely regarded as among the most influential powerbrokers in the Middle East and was appointed intelligence chief in 2012.
Diplomats said in February that Prince Bandar was sidelined in Saudi efforts to support rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
They said his management of the Syrian file had triggered American criticism and the matter was discussed during US officials' visits to the kingdom.
The prince himself reproached Washington for its decision not to intervene militarily in Syria, and for preventing its allies from providing rebels with much-needed weapons, according to diplomats.
Saudi Arabia has been strongly supportive of the rebels battling Assad.-AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Regional, Saudi King Abdullah, new spy chief, defence minister
Malaysia and Laos to post defence attaches
Australian defence minister back-paddles on canoe comment
India warns Pakistan to stop Kashmir attacks
Budget 2015: Hoping for funds to beef up security in Sabah
Secede Sabah group could destroy state, says Kudat MP
Chiang statues become targets as Taiwan confronts history
HK activists stage protest over ‘boob attack jailing’
Opening the hearts and minds of youths
FIFA boss Blatter gives up International Olympic Committee seat
Taiwan burn victim’s family feared the worst
How to manage your project cashflow
Uber, driver attorneys manoeuvre toward crucial hearing
High living in the great outdoors
Last lot for cast-off vehicles
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)