JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's absolute monarch has upgraded the kingdom's National Security Council and will chair it himself, the official Saudi Press Agency said.
The agency said at the weekend that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Abdullah had appointed Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom's former ambassador to Washington, as the council's secretary general.
The agency added that the existing secretary general, Saad Nasser al-Sudeiry, was being moved to become an adviser to Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz
The Saudi Arab News Webs site reported that Abdullah's half brother, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, will be the deputy chairman of the council whose members include the ministers of interior, foreign affairs, health and education.
The Web site described the council as "one of the country's top decision-making bodies," adding that it also includes representatives from the defense ministry, the National Guard and general intelligence department, as well as ministries in charge of services and infrastructure.