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Bahrain’s king orders cabinet reshuffle, names new oil minister—state media

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Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa speaks during the Gulf Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2021. Bandar Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS 

CAIRO — Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa ordered a cabinet reshuffle on Monday that included appointing a new oil minister, state media reported.

Mohammed bin Mubarak Bin Dainah, who was the country’s envoy for climate affairs, was named minister of oil and environment, replacing Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

The reshuffle included appointing Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa as deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani as industry and commerce minister and Fatima bint Jaafer al Sairafi as tourism minister.

Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa said the reshuffle “will bring new ideas and a renewed drive to continue advancing the public sector,” the state news agency (BNA) quoted him as saying on Monday.

“The reshuffle, the largest in the country’s history, has resulted in a change of 17 out of 22 ministers, with the introduction of a large proportion of young ministers, including four females”, a government spokesperson said.

Bahrain, a small non-OPEC oil producer, is one of the region’s most indebted countries, with its bonds rated “junk”. Gulf allies helped it avert a credit crunch in 2018 with a $10 billion aid package. Ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s have said Bahrain would likely need more financing from Gulf neighbors.

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