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Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz

By October 2018, some reports suggested that the Saudi Allegiance Council, which appointed Mohammed bin Salman as the new crown prince in 2017, breaking the customary rules of succession, was planning to designate Khalid bin Salman, the current Saudi envoy to the US, as deputy crown prince. Khalid would gradually take over from his brother and replace him down the road.

The report by the French paper Le Figaro on 17 October 2018 cited a diplomatic source in Paris. "For several days, the committee of the sages of the ruling Saudi family is meeting in the utmost discretion, says Le Figaro a diplomatic source in Paris. Information confirmed by a Saudi Arabian contacted in Riyadh. Composed of a delegate representing each of the clans - at least seven - of the royal family, this body, responsible for inheritance problems, examines the situation created by the disappearance, still unresolved, more than a fortnight ago, of the journalist dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul."

"This guy has got to go," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of MBS while speaking on Fox News. "Saudi Arabia, if you're listening, there are a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself."

MBS had already made himself big enemies in the Allegiance Council by breaking an agreement among first-class princes from various branches of the royal family to hand the power to the last king’s son. The Saudi National Guard, whose commander, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, was fired in 2017, was not so loyal to the crown prince either. The young prince also faced strong opposition at home for his bombing of Yemen, siege on Qatar and his closeness with Israel.

The New York Times and others reported that Prince Khalid bin Salman flew to the Saudi capital of Riyadh 15 October 2018, and was not expected to resume his post. But a State Department official told the Washington Examiner those reports are inaccurate, and said the US is unaware of any personnel changes at the embassy.

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America on April 22, 2017 by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. He presented his credentials to U.S. President Donald J. Trump and officially assumed his position on July 21, 2017 , becoming the 10th Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the US since 1945.

He reportedly bought an eight-bedroom mansion outside of Washington, DC that he bought for $12 million. The sprawling mansion in Great Falls, Virginia, is known as Le Chateau de Lumiere, or the Palace of Light. He reportedly bought the house two months before he became ambassador in February 2017, while he was still a student at Georgetown University. Chateau de Lumiere was named the Home of the Year at the 2007 Great American Living Awards, according to The Washington Post.

The kingdom had regained its status as a trusted partner after eight difficult years with the Obama administration. “I think the relationship is stronger,” Prince Khalid said. “The current administration understands the common threats and the common interests.”

But policy expert Rami Khouri of the University of Beirut said "It's a sign of the times when the Saudi king suddenly has his children in positions for which they have virtually zero qualifications". When he took office in Washington, Marcelle M. Wahba, former United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and President of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, told the Arab News newspaper in Saudi Arabia that Prince Khalid's greatest challenge would be to improve and broaden the image of the kingdom.

On 24 October 2018 he stated "HRH the Crown Prince stated today that the death of Jamal Khashoggi was painful to Saudis and many around the world, confirming that it is not consistent with KSA’s values and principles.... The Crown Prince reaffirmed his deep faith in the great Saudi people in facing challenges and continuing the journey of development and modernization; to achieve prosperity for our people and the peoples of the region... KSA’s vision for the region’s future, as articulated by the Crown Prince, is to become a model in development and achieve prosperity for people of the Middle East through bringing the region to the forefront of the world; a vision greater than any short term political difference."

Most recently, he was an advisor in the Saudi Embassy in Washington and at the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh. Previously, he was an F-15 pilot and tactical intelligence officer in the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). Before a back injury ended his flying career, the Ambassador flew more than 50 combat missions as part of the international coalition campaign against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and as part of Operations Decisive Storm and Renewal of Hope in Yemen.

The Ambassador graduated from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the RSAF. He received his initial pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and advanced training at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. Prior to training as a fighter pilot, Prince Khalid graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Aero Science from King Faisal Air Academy, has a certificate for Senior Executives in National and International Security from Harvard University, and has studied advanced electronic warfare in Paris. Just before his appointment as ambassador, he was also enrolled in the Security Studies master’s program at Georgetown University in the US.

Born in 1988, his father is King Salman, and his mother is Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen al-Ajmi. He is married to Princess Nora Bint Mohammed, and is father to Dana and Abdulaziz.



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Page last modified: 04-11-2018 17:51:32 ZULU