Washington D.C, November 14: United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated retired Army General John P. Abizaid of Nevada as Washington's ambassador to Riyadh.
A White House Press Release stated that the new ambassador was a four-star general and the longest serving commander of United States Central Command. He also served as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff and the Director of the Joint Staff.
General Abizaid has also received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star. The United States has not had an ambassador to Saudi Arabia since Trump took office in January 2017. Donald Trump Criticises Emmanuel Macron Again over European Defence Remarks.
The appointment comes two days after State Secretary Michael R Pompeo spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and said that the US would hold people involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi accountable.
The United States has strategic and important partnership with Saudi Arabia but following the killing of Khashoggi, President Trump criticised the Saudi Kingdom and took a firm stand against the atrocious killing of the journalist.
Washington is not only facing pressure from the international community but also from the senators who have demanded stringent actions like sanctions against Riyadh.
Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after stepping into Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to collect documents that would have allowed him to get married to his fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, raised an alarm after Khashoggi failed to re-emerge from the consulate, leading to a chain of revelations by both Turkey and Saudi Arabia regarding this case.
Saudi authorities had earlier confirmed that Khashoggi had died inside its consular premises in Istanbul, leading to the arrest of 18 Saudi officials in connection with the crime.