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Saudi-US Ambassador Resigns


Adapted by TMO from piece by Barbara Ferguson, Arab News

WASHINGTON, 13 December 2006—Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, abruptly resigned his post after only 15 months on the job and left the country, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Arab News learned from a source in the embassy that the ambassador flew out of Washington on Monday afternoon, after informing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff at the embassy that he would be leaving the position.

“It is true he left the country, but he is going to attend his son’s graduation in London,” said the source, who said Turki will return to Washington in January.

Turki’s predecessor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, held the job for 22 years.

Prince Turki, a long-serving former intelligence chief, served as Saudi ambassador to London before taking up the post in Washington.

“He was regarded as being one of the most effective ambassadors from any country and was held in very high regard,” a British diplomat told reporters Monday.

According to a New York Times article by Helene Cooper, this move may signal seismic shifts within the Saudi regime and also in Saudi-US relations in reaction to ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq that has spiralled beyond Washington’s control.

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