Princess Reema made ambassador to US, Khaled bin Salman appointed deputy defense minister by royal decree

After royal decrees were issued, Prince Khaled bin Salman has been appointed deputy defense minister while Princess Reema bint Bandar is the new ambassador to the US. (AN file photos)
Updated 24 February 2019

Princess Reema made ambassador to US, Khaled bin Salman appointed deputy defense minister by royal decree

  • Another royal decree was announced to give a one-month salary bonus to soldiers serving on the front lines along Saudi Arabia's southern borders

JEDDAH: Deputy King Prince Mohammed bin Salman issued a royal decree on Saturday appointing Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US. 

The deputy king issued a second decree announcing the appointment of Prince Khaled bin Salman as the Kingdom’s deputy defense minister. 

Another royal decree, issued by the deputy king, announced a one-month salary bonus to soldiers serving at the front lines on Saudi Arabia’s southern borders.

A daughter of a former Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Princess Reema is a graduate in museology from an American university. 

In October 2017, the princess became the first woman to lead a Saudi multi-sports federation, covering sporting activities for men and women.

Prince Khaled, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador in Washington, graduated from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). 

He received his initial pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and advanced training at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. He also studied advanced electronic warfare in France.

Previously, he was an F-15 pilot and tactical intelligence officer in the RSAF. 

Before a back injury ended his flying career, Prince Khaled flew more than 50 combat missions as part of the international coalition campaign against Daesh in Syria and as part of Operations Decisive Storm and Renewal of Hope in Yemen. 


Pentagon chief visits Saudi Arabia as tensions simmer with Iran

Updated 21 min 12 sec ago

Pentagon chief visits Saudi Arabia as tensions simmer with Iran

  • The visit comes days after Pentagon said it was bolstering its forces in the Kingdom amid tensions with Iran
  • In October, the Pentagon said it was deploying new US troops to Saudi Arabia following attacks on Saudi oil plants

RIYADH: US Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, with tensions simmering between the United States and Iran, and Russia seeking to increase its regional influence.
Al-Ekhbariyah television gave no details on the previously unannounced visit, which comes after Esper visited Afghanistan.
Esper is likely to meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first trip to the key Middle East ally since he took office this summer, a visit intended partly to reassure Riyadh over bilateral ties.

US-Iran tensions have risen to new highs since May 2018, when the Trump administration withdrew from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
The United States has deployed military forces to Saudi Arabia to bolster the Kingdom’s defenses after an attack on oil sites last month.
The Sept. 14 attack knocked out two major processing facilities of state oil giant Aramco in Khurais and Abqaiq, roughly halving Saudi Arabia’s oil production.
Washington condemned the attacks as a “act of war” but neither the Saudis nor the United States have overtly retaliated.

Esper said that two fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries were being sent to Saudi Arabia, bringing to about 3,000 the total number of troops deployed there since last month.
Despite the additional troops, there are questions about the US commitment to allies in the region after Trump announced a sudden withdrawal from northeastern Syria, opening the door for Russia to increase its influence in the Middle East.
A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States still wanted to be seen as the partner of choice in the region and Russia was not as dependable, whether it be the level of training or the military equipment it can provide.
President Vladimir Putin signalled Moscow’s growing Middle East clout last week on his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh’s regional rivals and energy cooperation.
(With Reuters and AFP)