Saudi king changes national guard into ministry, appoints son Mitab as minister

Saudi Arabia's king has converted the national guard command into the National Guard Ministry and appointed his son Mitab, the commander of the guard, as National Guard Minister.

The national guard serves as an elite force to protect the regime.

A royal decree issued Monday gave no reasons for the move. It was not clear what changes this would make on the ground.

In November 2010, King Abdullah appointed Mitab, 60, as minister of state, Cabinet member and national guard commander.

Mitab, King Abdullah's third son, joined the national guard as a lieutenant after graduating from the British Sandhurst military academy. He reached the rank of general in December 2000.

The king appointed him deputy national guard commander with ministerial rank in 2009.