First Saudi female ambassador replaces king’s son in US

Princess Reema Bint Bandar al-Saud, speaks during the investment conference in Riyadh. (photo credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER)

Saudi Arabia has appointed its first woman ambassador to represent the kingdom in the United States, pulling a son of King Salman back to the kingdom to serve as defense minister. The state-run Saudi Press Agency announced the decisions in a series of royal decrees early Sunday. Becoming the U.S. ambassador is Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the daughter of the kingdom’s longtime ambassador to Washington who also served as the head of the country’s intelligence service.

Current Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, a son of King Salman and a former fighter pilot, will return to be defense minister. His new position comes as U.S.-Saudi relations have deteriorated over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

Source: Associated Press