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UAE announces broad govt reshuffle amid COVID-19 pandemic

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-07-06 09:28
Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum attends the Global Women's Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 16, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a broad government reshuffle on Sunday, merging several ministries and departments and appointing new economy and industry ministers.

The restructuring was announced by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his official Twitter account.

The move is part of a drive to create a more agile government amid COVID-19.

"Our goal from the structural changes is for a government quicker in its decision-making ... an agile government quick in solidifying the achievement of our nation," he wrote on Twitter.

The prime minister announced the creation of a Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and named Sultan al-Jaber, head of Abu Dhabi's national oil company ADNOC, as its minister.

Other changes include abolishing 50 percent of government service centers and converting them to digital platforms within two years.

The UAE was the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, it announced 683 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 51,540.

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