Saudi King Names Former Investment Authority Head as U.S. Envoy

Saudi Arabia appointed Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud, a former head of the kingdom’s investment authority, as ambassador to the U.S., the official Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday after he was sworn in.

Prince Abdullah ran the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority from 2000 to 2004, according to Saudi state television. He is also the chairman of the Saudi Italian Development Co., according to its website.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have been strainedsince differences emerged over the U.S. reaction to the Arab Spring in 2011. Tensions have been exacerbated by President Obama’s resistance to engaging in a military confrontation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and disagreements over the nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional power rival.

The two allies have tried to mend fences since the nuclear accord was signed in July. King Salman visited Washington in September and received assurances that the U.S. would boost military aid to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has provided logistical and intelligence support since a Saudi-led coalition started an air campaign against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen in March.

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