Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Saudi Arabia)

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
وزارة الخارجية السعودية
KSA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Emblem (B&W).svg
Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia
Agency overview
Formed1930; 93 years ago (1930)
Preceding agency
  • Directorate General for Foreign Affairs
JurisdictionSaudi Arabia and its diplomatic missions worldwide
HeadquartersNasseriya Street, Riyadh
Agency executive
Child agency
  • Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies
WebsiteOfficial English Site

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA; Arabic: وزارة الخارجية Wizārat al-Khārijīyah) is the ministry responsible for handling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's external relations. The ministry oversees "political, cultural and financial international relations" and monitors the Kingdom's diplomatic relations.[1] It was created in 1930 by a royal decree issued by King Abdulaziz Al Saud, being the first ministerial body created by the King.[2]


While consolidating the newly formed Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz, King Abdulaziz, established foreign diplomatic relations by sending representatives and receiving delegations from various states. In 1926, he established the directorate general for foreign affairs in Mecca.[2] A branch of the directorate was also opened in Jeddah.[3] The first director general of foreign affairs was Abdullah Beg Al Damluji, who was also ruler of Hejaz at that time.[4]

In 1930, a royal decree was issued to elevate the directorate general to the ministry of foreign affairs.[5] King Abdulaziz appointed his son, Prince Faisal, as the first foreign minister.[6] The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was formally established by King Abdulaziz in 1932.

Initially the ministry was made up of five departments, namely the private office and the departments of oriental affairs, administrative affairs, political affairs and consular affairs.[2] The ministry began establishing diplomatic missions abroad. The first one was opened in Cairo in 1926 followed by another in London 1930.[2] The number of missions increased from five in 1936 to 18 in 1951 and expanded further after that.

Aside from a brief interjection, Prince Faisal continued to serve even after he succeeded the throne as King. After his assassination in 1975, Faisal was succeeded as foreign minister by his son, Prince Saud.[6] Saud was the longest-serving foreign minister of any country in current political times,[7] The ministry launched a magazine, The Diplomat, in 2007.[8]

It was rumored in 2010 that the next foreign minister would be Prince Turki Al Faisal, Saud's younger brother, after Saud retired, which however did not occur.[9]

Senior officials

The senior officials in the ministry are as follows:

Official Rank
Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud Minister of Foreign Affairs
Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (22 July 2011—April 2015)
Adel al-Jubeir Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

List of ministers

Ministers of Foreign Affairs

The following is the list of foreign ministers since its foundation:[6]

No. Image Name Took office Left office King
1 Faisal of Saudi Arabia - 1943.jpg Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 19 December 1930 22 December 1960 Abdulaziz (1932–1953)

Saud (1953–1964)

2 AlSowayel.png Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Suwaiyel 22 December 1960 16 March 1962 Saud (1953–1964)
3 Faisal of Saudi Arabia - 1943.jpg Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 16 March 1962 25 March 1975 Saud (1953–1964)

Himself (1964–1975)

4 Prince Saud Alfaisal 1987.jpg Saud bin Faisal Al Saud 13 October 1975 29 April 2015 Khalid (1975–1982)

Fahd (1982–2005)
Abdullah (2005–2015)
Salman (2015–2015)

5 Adel Al jubeer (crop).jpg Adel al-Jubeir 29 April 2015 27 December 2018 Salman (2015–present)
6 Ibrahim Abdelaziz Al-Assaf (cropped).png Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf 27 December 2018 23 October 2019 Salman (2015–present)
7 Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud - 2020 (49564088461) (cropped).jpg Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud 23 October 2019 Present Salman (2015–present)

Ministers of State for Foreign Affairs

The ministers of state for foreign affairs served are as follows:[4]

  1. Omar Al Saqqaf (1968–November 1974)
  2. Mohammad Ibrahim Massoud (November 1974–March 1975)[10]
  3. Saud bin Faisal Al Saud (March 1975–October 1975)[10]
  4. Nizar Madani (2005–2018)
  5. Adel al-Jubeir (2018–)


The building of the ministry is in Riyadh and was designed by Henning Larsen.[11] It blends both vernacular and monumental styles of Islamic architecture.[12] Larsen received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989 for his work on the building.[12][13]

Built in 1984, building consists of meeting, conference and prayer rooms, a library and a banquet hall.[12] Externally, the building appears as a fortress that was carved out of a single piece of stone.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Ministry Addresses". Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Mohammad Zaid Al Kahtani (December 2004). The Foreign Policy of King Abdulaziz (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Leeds. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  3. ^ Mansour Alsharidah (July 2020). Merchants without Borders: Qusman Traders in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, c. 1850-1950 (PhD) (Thesis). University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. p. 227. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b "حول الوزارة" (in Arabic). Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Saudi Arabia). 5 May 2005. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  5. ^ Steffen Hertog (2007). "Shaping the Saudi state: Human agency's shifting role in the rentier state formation" (PDF). International Journal of Middle East Studies. 39 (4): 539–563. doi:10.1017/S0020743807071073. S2CID 145139112. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Brief History". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Saudi Arabia). 5 May 2005. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  7. ^ Michael Slackman (9 December 2009). "A Legacy of Regret for a Saudi Diplomat". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Diplomat". Arab Media Company. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  9. ^ Simon Henderson (22 October 2010). "Foreign Policy: A Prince's Mysterious Disappearance". NPR. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  10. ^ a b "New Saudi Arabia King Picks Deputy Premiers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. United Press International. 30 March 1975. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  11. ^ Sama AlMalik (2017). Improving the city image of Riyadh. Through storefront and street signage redesign (PDF) (MA thesis). University of Barcelona. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Ministry of Foreign Affairs". ArchNet. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  13. ^ a b Paul Rivas. "Islamic architecture personified by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh". The Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.

External links

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