Saudi ambassador to U.S. resigns

Dec. 12, 2006 at 12:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States has abruptly resigned his position in Washington and left the country.

U.S. officials and foreign envoys said Prince Turki al-Faisal, who had served as ambassador for 15 months, flew out of the country after telling his staff and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he was giving up his position, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has not made a formal announcement regarding the resignation.

Turki told his staff Monday that he wants to spend more time with his family. His brother, Prince Saud al-Faisal, has recently been in declining health. Turki's name has been floated as a possible replacement for his brother as foreign minister, a position Saud has held since 1975.

A Saudi Arabian official told the Post that Turki would return to the United States in January to say formal goodbyes.

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