Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A shake-up in Saudi diplomacy? 

This "sitrep" from Stratfor reports some very peculiar news:

Sources within the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Turki al-Faisal resigned unexpectedly "for personal reasons" Dec. 11. Director-general of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Directorate for nearly 25 years, he was appointed ambassador in 2005.

Speculation alert: Al-Faisal's resignation has something to do with this op-ed piece, which was widely regarded as a deniable threat by the Saudis, but which al-Turki repudiated on "Meet the Press" on December 4. What, precisely, I do not know.

Any House of Saud experts out there should add their more considered thoughts in the comments.

MORE: Per GreenmanTim in the comments, Crossroads Arabia has a bit more.


By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Tue Dec 12, 05:27:00 PM:

Crossroads Arabia, which I note on your blogroll and find to be an excellent source for analysis of all things Saudi, covered the story today and agreed with a Washington Post piece suggesting that Turki is a possible replacement for his ailing older brother, Prince Saud al-Faisal. You can read it at


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Dec 12, 07:58:00 PM:

I saw nothing to disagree with. I'd also like to mention, though, that this country is ruled by a *family,* and not in a touchy feely symbolic way like Britain. It's possible that Turki would be removed if his son nailed King Abd-Allah's favorite niece and then refused to marry her. There's just no way to know.  

By Blogger The Machinist, at Tue Dec 12, 11:12:00 PM:

I got nuthin' on X nailing Y. But what this fellow is saying is, they are now willing to pony up troops and resources? Calloo callay! Right? Since the US and coalition troops suck, Saudi troops will be teh r0xx0r! Surely nobody will bomb them. They all speak Arabic, they will be able to know what's going on...Throw me into that tarpatch, B'rer Rabbit!

PLUS they will crank down the price of oil? What are they waiting for?!?!? Why wait for us to leave? Come on down!

Right? What am I missing?  

By Blogger Mycroft, at Wed Dec 13, 09:02:00 PM:

I think people have pretty much nailed it on the head. The *only* thing that could cause a Saudi prince to leave in such a hurry is a very urgent development in Saudi domestic politics -- which probably means death or illness near the top of the royal family. He's pretty much immune to everything else.  

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