Kuwait forms new Cabinet, names al-Shamali oil minister

ABU DHABI Sat Aug 3, 2013 9:10pm EDT

Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali attends the Euromoney Conference in Kuwait City on April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephanie Mcgehee

Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali attends the Euromoney Conference in Kuwait City on April 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stephanie Mcgehee

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ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Mustapha al-Shamali was appointed oil minister in Kuwait's new Cabinet, state news agency KUNA said on Sunday after a parliamentary election in the major crude producer last month.

The position was previously held on an acting basis by al-Shamali, after his predecessor, Hani Hussein, resigned in May under pressure from parliament.

Oil policy in the OPEC member state is set by a Supreme Oil Council, so ministerial changes are less important than in other countries.

The Finance Ministry, which Shamali previously led, will now be headed by Salem Abdelaziz al-Sabah, while Mohamed Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah will serve as interior minister, a decree by Kuwait's emir said.

The July 27 parliamentary election brought in an assembly seen as more amenable to the government than some of its predecessors, raising hopes that economic development projects will move forward in the Gulf Arab state.

Kuwait's ruler reappointed Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah as prime minister after the election and asked him to form a new Cabinet.

The ruling Al-Sabah family traditionally holds top posts in the government.

Kuwait has the most open political system in the Gulf Arab region, but parliaments have been repeatedly dissolved over procedural disputes or for challenging the government.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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