Saudi Chief of Royal Protocol Sacked

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah issued a Royal order on Friday relieving Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Tobaishi, Chief of Royal Protocol, of his post and assigning Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al-Aqeeli to be the acting Chief of Royal Protocol.

The outgoing al-Tobaishi was appointed Chief of Royal Protocol shortly after King Abdullah came to power in September 2005, and his father has worked for the country’s founder King Abdulaziz. The royal decree announcing his sacking lacked the customary “upon his request” phrase, usually a sign that his departure was not on good terms. Also, the fact that his replacement has been in acting capacity only suggests the decision to fire him might have been taken abruptly.

Al-Tobaishi always appeared behind King Abdullah in most of his public appearances, but the moment that most people probably remember him for came last year during the opening of the Islamic Summit in Mecca when he leaned in to ask the King what kind of beverage should be offered to the guests attending that event. “Should we bring juice or coffee?” he was heard as saying through the microphone on the podium before the monarch. The King told him to get them juice.