Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz reshuffled a large part of his cabinet on Thursday, appointing a former palace advisor as finance minister to push forward with a mandate for economic reforms intended to spur growth in the debt-ridden country.
The reshuffle was Razzaz’s fourth since taking office almost a year and a half ago. It affected 11 ministries in all but left other key incumbents, notably the foreign affairs and interior ministers, unchanged.
As finance minister he brought in Mohammad al-Ississ, a Harvard-educated economist and former palace advisor, in place of Ezzedin Kanakriyah.
Al-Ississ, who had been serving as planning minister, will lead a team overseeing the three-year economic programme agreed with the International Monetary Fund. It covers long-delayed structural reforms and will seek to cut public debt to 77 percent of GDP by 2021 from 94 percent now.
Ayman Safadi, a long-time adviser to the royal family, who has been leading Jordan’s talks with Washington over its Middle East policy, remains as foreign minister.