Saudi Ambassador Quits - Amid Hajj Visa Crisis

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 Saudi Ambassador to U.S. - Prince Turki Al-Faisal Quit During Hajj Visa Crisis!  Why? 

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post - after only 15 months on the job, according to U.S. officials and foreign envoys. Kingdom remains silent.


Prince bids "bye-bye" to D.C.
Prince Turki Al Faisal - Saudi Ambassador- Fomer Head of foreign intelligence

Questions are flying in all directions after the abrupt departure of Saudi's highest member of the royal family assigned to U.S. diplomacy quit his post, informed Secretary of State Rice and flew off to Saudi Arabia - and at such a crucial time for Muslims in the west in need of visas for their pilgrimage to Mekkah - a requirement of every Muslim once in their life.

Was it due to U.S. intellegence ordering the Prince to hand over Hajj visa information on Hajj applicants? Or perhaps something even more sinister?


The abrupt departure is particularly striking because his predecessor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, spent 22 years on the job. The Saudi ambassador is one of the most influential diplomatic positions in Washington and is arguably the most important overseas post for the oil-rich desert kingdom.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S., told his staff he wanted more family time.

Turki, a long-serving former intelligence chief, told his staff yesterday afternoon that he wanted to spend more time with his family, according to Arab diplomats. Colleagues said they were shocked at the decision.

The exit -- without the fanfare, parties and tributes that normally accompany a leading envoy's departure, much less a public statement -- comes as his brother, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the highly influential Saudi foreign minister, is ailing.

More About Prince Turki Al Faisal . . .