RIYADH: Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar of Riyadh received the US ambassador to the Kingdom on Sunday.
John Abizaid has reached the end of his term as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and had gone to the governor’s office to say farewell.
Abizaid is a fluent Arabic speaker of Lebanese-Christian descent who headed US Central Command, which covers the Middle East, during the Iraq war from shortly after the US invasion in 2003 through 2007.
He wrote his Harvard master’s thesis on Saudi Arabia, studying how the Kingdom made its decisions on defense spending. The paper won acclaim in academic circles.
Abizaid graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and later won a scholarship to study in Jordan, where he honed his Arabic.
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