Prince Bandar is replaced. From Bloomberg:
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, said it plans to appoint former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal as ambassador to the U.S., the kingdom’s first change in the post since Ronald Reagan was president.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry announced today that Prince Bandar bin Sultan resigned as Saudi envoy to Washington for “private reasons” after rendering “outstanding services” to the Arab country since 1983. Bandar cultivated deep access to the White House, including regular visits to the Bush family homes.
Bandar, who is close to President George Bush, the current president’s father, is a former Saudi Air Force officer who became defense attachÃ©, then ambassador, following his involvement in procuring U.S. fighter aircraft in the late 1970s, according to his official embassy biography. He later became the dean of the diplomatic corps in Washington.
Turki, who is ambassador to the U.K., was educated in Washington and has a history of working with the U.S. intelligence community. He will come to the U.S. as the Bush administration attempts to spread democracy in the oil-rich Middle East as a counter-weight to violent Islamist movements…