After 2 years without one, Trump nominates an ambassador to Saudi Arabia amid Khashoggi crisis
- Donald Trump has nominated John Abizaid, a retired four-star general, to be the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
- Abizai led the US Central Command during the Iraq war.
- The position has been vacant since Trump took office in January 2017, and Abizai's nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate.
- The nomination comes at a time when US-Saudi relations are being tested after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
President Donald Trump has nominated retired Army general John Abizaid to be the country's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, giving him a representative in Riyadh at a time when the two country's relations are under increased scrutiny after the killing of a Saudi journalist.
Abizai led the US Central Command during the Iraq war as a four-star Army general. He has served as special envoy to the Ukrainian military since 2016, advising it against Russia, The New York Times reported, and previously studied Middle Eastern area studies at Harvard.
The position of US ambassador to Saudi Arabia has been empty since Trump took office in January 2017.
Riyadh has sought to distance its leadership, particularly the crown prince, from Khashoggi's killing, despite a string of allegations implicating him in the killing.
Turkish officials claim that Khashoggi was killed by a 15-member assassination squad that was sent on orders from the Saudi government.
Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, criticized the Trump administration's approach to the investigation accusing it of taking a position "devoid of moral foundation."
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