Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabiaâ€™s ambassador to the U.S., told his staff he wanted more family time.
Flap wrote on this subject last week and I am happy to reprise the post with some additional comments and a possible rationale for Prince Turki’s flight out of the United States.
Washington Post: Saudi Ambassador Abruptly Resigns, Leaves Washington
Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabiaâ€™s ambassador to the United States, flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post after only 15 months on the job, according to U.S. officials and foreign envoys. There has been no formal announcement from the kingdom.
The abrupt departure is particularly striking because his predecessor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, spent 22 years on the job. The Saudi ambassador is one of the most influential diplomatic positions in Washington and is arguably the most important overseas post for the oil-rich desert kingdom.
So, what is up with this?
Internal political manuvering, an impending death in the royal family or a change in direction?
Hugh Hewitt: “Prince Turki Flies”
When Turki was appointed to be Ambassador to the United States, in July 2005 I noted that his movements seem to closely track major terror strikes.
– In July 1998, as head of Saudi intelligence, Turki reportedly traveled to Afghanistan and met with Taliban leaders (and possibly bin Laden) in Kandahar and arranges to send them 400 new pickup trucks. On August 7, 1998 al-Qaeda struck the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar-el-Salaam. Between the two bombings over 250 are killed and 5000 injured.
– In August 2001, two weeks before 9/11, Turki abruptly stepped down as head of Saudi intelligence (a position he had held since 1977) and shortly thereafter became the Saudi Ambassador to the U.K.
– In July 2005 he left his position in London to become the Saudi Ambassador in Washington â€“ only two weeks after the London Tube bombings.
An interesting set of coincidences, no?
Hugh, Flap hopes you are WRONG.
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