DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain’s king on Tuesday reappointed Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa as prime minister who then formed a cabinet with a new finance minister but no other changes to key portfolios.
The cabinet had tendered its resignation on Sunday to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as required by law after parliamentary elections in the Gulf Arab state.
Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa replaced Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa as finance minister, according to a statement carried by the state Bahrain News Agency.
Sheikh Khalifa, 83, has served as the prime minister of Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, since the Sunni Muslim-led island kingdom declared independence from Britain in 1971.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa retained his post as foreign minister and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa as oil minister.
Bahrain, which does not possess vast oil wealth like other Gulf states, signed a deal in October with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for a $10 billion aid package tied to fiscal reforms that has averted the risk of a credit crunch.
Bahrain’s finances have been hit by an oil price slump since 2014. The new parliament is expected to pass austerity measures needed to secure the aid package.
(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Mark Heinrich)