RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Fahd has moved Ghazi al-Gosaibi from his post as minister of water and electricity to head the labor ministry following the split of the labor and social affairs ministry in two, newspapers reported Wednesday.
Ali bin Ibrahim al-Nemla, who headed the ministry of labor and social affairs, remains in the cabinet as social affairs minister, while Gosaibi is succeeded at water and electricity by Abdullah al-Hussayen, they said.
The Saudi government decided last month to split the labor and social affairs ministry in two and to abolish the Manpower Council that oversaw the creation of jobs for nationals through the "Saudization" process, transferring its functions to the labor ministry.
Gosaibi, a former ambassador to Britain, takes over the labor portfolio at a time when the oil-rich kingdom is stepping up efforts to replace foreign employees and workers by nationals.
Up to three million foreigners face the axe in the next decade after the Saudi government decided in February 2003 to limit the number of foreign workers and their families to less than 20 percent of the population by 2013.
The number of foreigners in the kingdom is estimated at between six and seven million, compared to around 17 million Saudis.
Lineup of Saudi cabinet after reshuffle
- Head of state and prime minister:
King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz
- Crown prince, first deputy prime minister and National Guard commander:
Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz
- Second deputy prime minister, defense and aviation minister:
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
- Minister of interior: Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz
- Minister of foreign affairs: Prince Saud al-Faisal
- Minister of oil and mineral resources: Ali bin Ibrahim al-Nuaimi
- Minister of finance: Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf
- Minister of commerce and industry: Hashem bin Abdullah bin Hashem Yamani
- Minister of municipal and rural affairs: Prince Mutab bin Abdul Aziz
- Minister of justice: Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim al-Sheikh
- Minister of higher education: Khaled bin Mohammad al-Anqari
- Minister of Islamic affairs: Sheikh Salah bin Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh
- Minister of pilgrimage: Iyad bin Amin Madani
- Minister of civil service: Mohammad bin Ali al-Fayez
- Minister of health: Hamad bin Abdullah al-Mane
- Minister of agriculture: Fahd bin Abdul Rahman Balghnaim
- Minister of communications and information technology:
Mohammad bin Jamil bin Ahmad Mulla
- Minister of planning and economy: Khaled bin Mohammad al-Gosaibi
- Minister of information and culture: Fuad bin Abdel Salam al-Faresi
- Minister of education: Mohammad bin Ahmad al-Rashid
- Minister of transport: Jebarah bin Eid al-Suraisri
- Minister of water and electricity: Abdullah al-Hussayen
- Minister of labor: Ghazi al-Gosaibi
- Minister of social affairs: Ali bin Ibrahim al-Nemla
- Ministers of state: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, Mutlab bin Abdullah al-Nafissa, Mussaed bin Mohammad al-Abiyan, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Khuaiter, Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Yussef Zainal.