His Majesty King Hamad last night reshuffled Bahrain's Cabinet, creating a ministry of social affairs that will be headed by the second woman to join the government.

Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, a former Bahrain University College of Education dean, will join Dr Nada Haffadh, the Health Minister, in the Cabinet, BNA reported.

Bahrain Monetary Agency Governor Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, was named Finance and National Economy Minister. He replaces Abdulla Saif who was named economic adviser to Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar was given the additional portfolio of Information Minister. He replaces Nabeel Al Hamer who becomes information adviser to King Hamad - a post he held before his nomination to the Cabinet in the last reshuffle in April 2001.

Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Mohammed Ali Sitri was named Justice Minister in succession to Jawad Al Arrayed. The new Municipalities and Agriculture Minister will be former commerce minister Ali Saleh Al Saleh. Abdulhussain Ali Mirza was named Cabinet Affairs Minister, replacing Mohammed Al Mutawa.

The Industry and Commerce ministries were merged and put under the leadership of Dr Hassan Fakhro, who was Industry Minister ahead of the reshuffle.

Jawad Al Arrayed was named as legal affairs adviser to the Premier and Mohammed Al Mutawa as cultural affairs adviser to the Premier. Minister of State Abdulnabi Al Sho'ala was discharged from his duties.The new Cabinet will be sworn in today.

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