Saudi Arabia Names New Ministers Close to Powerful Crown Prince

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They said Prince Bader had purchased the painting for the ministry of culture in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates — a close Saudi ally — so it could hang in the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.

Prince Bader is from a minor branch of the Saudi royal family. He previously served as the chairman of a media conglomerate that is controlled by King Salman’s branch of the family, but resigned to become minister.

Since his father became king of the ultraconservative kingdom in 2015, the crown prince has been pushing for a range of economic, cultural and religious reforms.

These changes have included removing the power to arrest from the country’s once-feared religious police, opening commercial cinemas for the first time in decades and promising to lift the ban on women driving, which is scheduled to end on June 24.

Ahmed bin Suleiman al-Rajhi, a private-sector businessman, was named minister of labor. The kingdom’s economy has been shaken by the decline in oil prices, which has undermined the state budget. That could make it harder for the hundreds of thousands of young Saudis entering the job market every year to find jobs.

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