Former US General John Abizaid becomes his country’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. US President Donald Trump announced the nomination of the 67-year-old Middle East connoisseur yesterday. The post of US Ambassador to Riyadh has been vacant since Trump’s inauguration almost two years ago.
The nomination is now in the midst of tensions over the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Jamal Chashukchi) in early October at his country’s consulate in Istanbul. The four-star General Abizaid was from 2003 to 2007 commander of the US Central Command, which is responsible among other things for the Middle East and thus the military operation in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia is an important US ally. However, the killing of government critic Khashoggi has severely strained relations between the two countries. In the face of tensions, the absence of a US ambassador in Saudi Arabia became particularly clear