Saudi Arabia appoints new deputy defense minister

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Saudi monarch has appointed a retired army general as the kingdom’s new deputy defense minister in a shakeup just days before a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The official Saudi Press Agency said Saturday that former navy commander Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdul-Rahman was named to the post.

The report gave no reason for the departure of Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the previous deputy.

Khaled headed Arab coalition forces during the U.S.-led Gulf War that drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. He owns Al Hayat daily, which is published in London.

Hagel is due in Riyadh on Tuesday as part of a Mideast trip that is expected to include discussions about arms sales to U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf.

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