World Bulletin / News Desk
For the past 53 years, the post of Saudi foreign minister has been held by a member of the Al Saud family, but this unwritten rule has been broken with the appointment of Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Who is Adel Al-Jubeir?
Al-Jubeir, 53, was named the kingdom's top diplomat after Prince Saud al-Faisal – who had served as foreign minister for 40 years – was relieved of his duties in a major government reshuffle announced early Wednesday morning.
Prince Saud, the world's longest-serving foreign minister, had asked King Salman bin Abdulaziz to be relieved of his responsibilities "due to his health condition" – a request that was granted by the Saudi monarch.
The Saudi king named al-Jubeir, who has served as the kingdom's ambassador to the U.S. since 2007, as new foreign minister.
The son of a diplomat, al-Jubeir obtained a Bachelor's Degree in political science and economics from the University of North Texas before obtaining a Master's Degree in international relations from Georgetown University.
He began his diplomatic career at the age of 29, when he was appointed to the Saudi embassy in Washington, where he served as assistant to the ambassador for U.S. Congress affairs.
He was then promoted to official embassy spokesman during the Second Gulf War in 1990.
In 1999, following a five-year stint at the Saudi mission to the United Nations, he returned to the Washington embassy to supervise its media bureau.
One year later, he was appointed adviser to then Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulziz.
He became a recognized face in the U.S. media following the 9/11 attacks of 2001, fiercely defending the kingdom against suggestions that it might have played a role in the attacks.
In 2007, he was appointed the kingdom's ambassador in Washington.
Four years later, reports emerged that U.S. authorities had foiled an Iranian plot to bomb the Saudi embassy in Washington and assassinate al-Jubeir.
He has made numerous media appearances in recent days to defend his country's decision last month to lead in a military campaign against Yemen's Shiite Houthi group.
On Wednesday, al-Jubeir was appointed Saudi foreign minister, becoming the second person from outside the Al Saud family to hold the post.
The other was Ibrahim al-Suwaiyel, who held the foreign affairs portfolio for two years in the 1960s.Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2015, 09:51