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H.R.H. Prince Salman, Governor of Riyadh, has been appointed Minister of Defense.
H.R.H. Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of Riyadh, has been appointed Minister of Defense by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. The position was previously held by former H.R.H. Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who passed away on October 22, 2011.

As Governor of Riyadh, Prince Salman has supervised and encouraged the expansive growth of the city from a mid-sized town into a major urban metropolis through developing capital projects and attracting foreign investment in the region.

Prince Salman has also been very active in charitable activities. He serves as President of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, which conducts and funds high-quality laboratory and field research on all aspects and ages of disability. He is also President of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, which is the largest dialysis center in the Middle East, equipped with 140 machines to serve 800 patients daily.

Prince Salman is Chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group and owner of the Arabic international newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, which is headquartered in London and has a large circulation in Saudi Arabia. Prince Salman is 76 years-old and is one of the most senior members of the ruling family. His son, Prince Sultan Bin Salman, the first Arab and Muslim to travel to space on the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985, is the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities; his son, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, is the Assistant Minister of Petroleum.

H.R.H. Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz, who had been serving as Deputy Governor of Riyadh, was appointed as the new Governor. Prince Muhammad Bin Saad will be the new Deputy Governor of the province and with the rank of Minister.

The royal order named as Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, who previously served as the Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation. King Abdullah relieved Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation, Prince Abdul Rahman of his duties. The decree transferred the duties and responsibilities of civil aviation from the Ministry of Defense and to the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA). The employees, properties, documents, and financial allocations of civil aviation will also be transferred to GACA.

King Abdullah appointed Prince Fahd Bin Abdullah Bin Muhammad as the President of GACA with the rank of Minister. Faisal Al-Sugair has been appointed as the authority’s Vice President. King Abdullah reconstituted the Board of Directors of GACA so that Prince Fahd will also serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of GACA. The President of GACA will also be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Airlines General Corporation and the board will be reconstituted accordingly.

Other appointments included H.R.H. Saud Bin Naif as President of the Crown Prince’s office after relieving Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Hudaithy from that post. Prince Saud will also serve as Special Adviser to the Crown Prince with the rank of Minister. Special Secretary to the Crown Prince Muhammad Salim Al-Murri has been relieved of his post and Abdul Rahman Al-Rubaian appointed in his place with the rank of Minister.

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