Riyadh (AFP): The recently announced government reshuffle is part of Saudi Arabia’s transformation plans, said new foreign minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf on Friday, rejecting the Kingdom was in crisis and his predecessor was demoted.
“The issue of Jamal Khashoggi… really saddened us, all of us,” FM Ibrahim Al-Assaf on Friday said told AFP, a day after he was appointed foreign minister in a government reshuffle.
“But all in all, we are not going through a crisis, we are going through a transformation,” he added, referring to social and economic reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Assaf previously served as finance minister for two decades until 2016. In July 2017, he led the Saudi delegation to the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Assaf was detained briefly in 2017 as part of an anti corruption crackdown but was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Assaf replaced Adel Al-Jubeir as foreign minister in the sweeping government shake-up ordered by King Salman.
Responding to claims that Al-Jubeir was demoted, Assaf said “This is far from the truth.”
“Adel represented Saudi Arabia and will continue to represent Saudi Arabia… around the world. We complement each other.”