The national postal system of Saudi Arabia, known as "al-Barid," is Saudi Post. It used to be under the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone but is now separate. The postal network in the Kingdom is well-developed and covers all cities and villages, with 478 central post offices and 180 branches serving the population. In 2006, the Saudi Post handled 858.1 million mail items through its extensive network of public and private post offices. The history of the Saudi Post has two significant phases: the first dates back to the establishment of Saudi Arabia as a country, and the second marks the establishment of the postal service under the leadership of the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud.