SCOOP: Pragmatic Non-Royal to be Next Saudi Ambassador to the United States

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adel al-jubeir.jpg
For Saudi watchers, some fascinating news has just made its way to The Washington Note.
A former staffer at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, ADEL AL-JUBEIR, who comes from a distinguished, yet non-royal family, has risen to such levels of esteem in the estimation of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah that he has been appointed the next Saudi Ambassador to the United States.
This is quite remarkable news. One of the rumored successors to Prince Turki al-Faisal, who recently resigned as Ambassador in Washington with plans to depart at the end of January 2007, was Prince Turki’s cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud, who is currently Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Prince Mohammed succeeded Prince Turki in London after having served as Ambassador to Italy after Turki was assigned to Washington. Many expected Prince Mohammed to move to Washington, but family concerns kept the Ambassador in the United Kingdom.
Wanting someone trusted and close — closer than family to some degree — King Abdullah has now appointed his personal foreign policy advisor to serve as his Ambassador in Washington. Abdullah met the relatively young Adel al-Jubeir in Washington some years ago — when he was Director of Communications at the Embassy. Adel’s brother, Nail Al-Jubeir, now holds the very same position that Adel once heldo in Saudi Arabia’s Washington Embassy.
When King Abudullah was Crown Prince he briefly met al-Jubeir on a trip to the United States and subsequently requested that he become the Crown Prince’s foreign policy advisor.
Adel al-Jubeir’s appointment will be formally announced after the U.S. Department of State notifies the Saudi government that al-Jubeir’s credentials will be accepted. “No problems are anticipated,” according to an insider source.
More later — but this is fairly big news.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

36 comments on “SCOOP: Pragmatic Non-Royal to be Next Saudi Ambassador to the United States

  1. Steel Plate says:

    When I first saw and heard Aadil al-joubayr, commenting the news, after September 11.My first reaction was that, asking him to play this role, was the 2nd most intelligent decision made in the Arabic world. (The first one, being the launch of Al-Jazeera, television).

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  8. msaiari says:

    i’ ve recently learned from special sources that the next Saudi ambassador to the US is going to be prince mishaal bin Abdullah(king Abdullah ‘s son).
    prince mishaal now is among the Saudi delegations to the UN in new york.

    Reply

  9. Pierre says:

    I am born in Lebanon; and I now live in Montréal, Canada, Where, in the last 10 years, I have been following the news of the Middle East, through multiple Medias.
    When I first saw and heard Aadil al-joubayr, commenting the news, after September 11.My first reaction was that, asking him to play this role, was the 2nd most intelligent decision made in the Arabic world. (The first one, being the launch of Al-Jazeera, television).
    Aadil al-joubayr; was and is very eloquent, well dressed and groomed, his English is excellent. No errors, no mistakes, great accent (American-English, accent) and he is very smart and intelligent.
    If his nomination as an ambassador for K.S.A, in the USA; is true…..this would be the third most intelligent decision, made in the Arabic world, in the last 10 years.
    Bravo Aadil, and good luck to you

    Reply

  10. Mark says:

    This could and should be good news though the Saudi royals will still set that country’s policy, not the ambassador.

    Reply

  11. pluky says:

    No way is al-Jubeir’s appointment a demotion. The stakes at play are way to high. Through him the King speaks directly to Empire, and internal dynastic politics be damned.

    Reply

  12. daveinboca says:

    Actually Adel al-Jubeir is a family relation and is mentored by Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijri, who is the King’s trusted alter ego.
    Tuwaijri ran the Saudi Arabian National Guard and could co-sign for Crown Prince Abdullah when Abdullah was the Guard’s Commander. The Saudi National Guard is a sort of Carabinieri parallel which protects the Royal Family and is comprised of tribal elements. The Saudi National Guard protected the American Embassy in Jidda.
    Tuwaijri was and perhaps still is so important that one day on a first class flight, he found himself suddenly having the person next to him move to another seat and the new occupant was none other than Henry Kissinger, then running Kissinger Associates, who rode the trans-Atlantic flight with the influential advisor. The Embassy checked later with the airline and US intelligence and found that Kissinger did that often with VVIPs.
    It is the Tuwaijri connection that gives Adel the complete trust of the King, and parenthetically Prince Bandar’s very close relationship with Adel.
    Adel also studied in Germany and speaks fluent German. His brother Nail aced Stanford Business School in record time and had a high-entry job at Morgan Stanley until he was summoned by his older brother to work at the Saudi Embassy in DC.

    Reply

  13. bryanwilkins says:

    Actually, Turki’s abandonment of Washington after 15 months may simply be solely due to Palace Politics. He is and remains a player. Perhaps he was worried at Bandar’s rising influence since he returned to Riyadh and figured he netter get back to cover his position. New ambasador deignate is a Bandar Guy, right?

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Posted by Pissed Off American at December 20, 2006 11:02 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Don’t worry, my crystal ball says all the shit will hit the fan before 2008. I think the public is ready to throw the entire ME and the Israelis overboard at the same time.

    Reply

  15. AU Park says:

    This appointment is already stirring controversy inside Saudi Arabia, where Jubeir is seen, fairly or not, as being too uncritical of US policies and willing to tell US policymakers what they want to hear – not what they need to know. There is a story circulating – and I cannot vouch for its accuracy, only that it is widespread – that on a televised occasion where Jubeir served as translator to the king in a meeting with a foreign dignitary, Jubeir’s English version of the remarks were taken by many who watched on television and understood both the Arabic and English to be a mistranslation.

    Reply

  16. Easy E says:

    WHY NO COMMENT ON WHAT’S NOT BEING COVERED BY THE PRESS………..i.e. U.S. naval buildup & ‘gunboat diplomacy’ in dealing with Iran, Iran’s switch to euros from dollar, etc. Seems the inevitable is about to happen because of oil & euros, rather than nukes.
    U.S. plans naval buildup in Gulf to counter Iran
    CENTCOM plans to us ?gunboat diplomacy?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16281057/
    Report: Pentagon planning Navy buildup as ‘warning to Iran’
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Report_Pentagon_planning_Navy_buildup_as_1219.html
    US to warn Iran with naval buildup in Gulf- CBS
    19 Dec 2006 03:28:31 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N18217613.htm
    Iran to use euro instead of US dollar in next year’s budget
    http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Iran_to_use_euro_instead_of_US_doll_12182006.html
    Iran to replace dollar with euro in foreign deals
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/12/18/061218095123.sn4s0vlu.html
    Why is this important?
    FLASHBACK 2004: “THE REAL REASONS WHY IRAN IS THE NEXT TARGET: The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker”
    by William Clark
    The Iranians are about to commit an “offense” far greater than Saddam Hussein’s conversion to the euro of Iraq?s oil exports in the fall of 2000. Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran. While the publicly stated reasons will be over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, there are unspoken macroeconomic drivers explaining the Real Reasons regarding the 2nd stage of petrodollar warfare – Iran’s upcoming euro-based oil Bourse……
    [For entire article, click to http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CLA410A.html
    Oh, and don’t forget our ‘key ME ally’ fanning the flames of war.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3341946,00.html

    Reply

  17. Easy E says:

    WHY NO COMMENT ON WHAT’S NOT BEING COVERED BY THE PRESS………..i.e. U.S. naval buildup & ‘gunboat diplomacy’ in dealing with Iran, Iran’s switch to euros from dollar, etc. Seems the inevitable is about to happen because of oil & euros, rather than nukes.
    U.S. plans naval buildup in Gulf to counter Iran
    CENTCOM plans to us ‘gunboat diplomacy’
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16281057/
    Report: Pentagon planning Navy buildup as ‘warning to Iran’
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Report_Pentagon_planning_Navy_buildup_as_1219.html
    US to warn Iran with naval buildup in Gulf- CBS
    19 Dec 2006 03:28:31 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N18217613.htm
    Iran to use euro instead of US dollar in next year’s budget
    http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Iran_to_use_euro_instead_of_US_doll_12182006.html
    ran to replace dollar with euro in foreign deals
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/12/18/061218095123.sn4s0vlu.html
    Why is this important?
    FLASHBACK 2004: “THE REAL REASONS WHY IRAN IS THE NEXT TARGET: The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker”
    by William Clark
    The Iranians are about to commit an “offense” far greater than Saddam Hussein’s conversion to the euro of Iraq’s oil exports in the fall of 2000. Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran. While the publicly stated reasons will be over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, there are unspoken macroeconomic drivers explaining the Real Reasons regarding the 2nd stage of petrodollar warfare – Iran’s upcoming euro-based oil Bourse……
    [For entire article, click to http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CLA410A.html
    Oh, and don’t forget our ‘key ME ally’ fanning the flames of war.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3341946,00.html

    Reply

  18. p.lukasiak says:

    Two things….
    In Western monarchies, this kind of move (from being daily atthe King’s side as an important counsellor to an ambassadorship) was seen as a sign of the King’s displeasure — a demotion if not a “polite” form of exile.
    If its not a “demotion”, I think it signals that Abdullah has little confidence in his Foreign Minister, Prince Saud. One can expect that Adel will be directly reporting to the King, and that his “subordinate” position to the Foreign Minister will be “on paper” only.
    Given that Turki is Saud’s brother, this suggests that Abdullah was not pleased with Turki (Turki may have been gotten a bad report from Cheney ) and that Bandar was, in fact, acting on behalf of the King when he was “interfering” with Turki’s “diplomacy.” The King is basically making it clear that when it comes to US/Saudi relations, HE is calling the shots.

    Reply

  19. lower tiberius says:

    note to self: that picture … the man needs to wipe his chin

    Reply

  20. lower tiberius says:

    good man … very “pragmatic”

    Reply

  21. lower tiberius says:

    well winnipeger, if you consider the herald cert. lineage of the subject it’s not much of a quantum actuation to realize, in fact a literal fundemantal function installment. This {person} works for the united states, will represent Saudia Arabia, and who’s heritage is to distribute the refreshments for the israelis. Adel all Jubeer

    Reply

  22. Craig Johnson says:

    Saudi Ambassador Best Not a Kissing Cousin
    ( cognitorex blogspot )
    The Bush family and the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia are hand holding, corporate cousin kissing tight.
    During the oncoming decade in which Shiites may continue to ascend en masse over the Mid East, Saudi Arabia and the incompetent architects of this political maestrom may well see beacoups of bad blood and bitter words of recrimination.
    It would be best if Saudi’s man in the US of A were not of the Royal Family.

    Reply

  23. John Burgess says:

    Adel Al-Jubeir is completely trusted by King Abdullah. He was Abdullah’s foreign affairs advisor when Abdullah was Crown Prince–a situation that became awkward because Saud Al-Faisal, the Foreign Minister, structurally played that role for the King.
    As a non-royal, Al-Jubeir also avoids intra-family problems and quarrels, in much the same way as the ministers for petroleum & minerals do. He doesn’t have a dog in any of the familial fights, is a more than competent technocrat, and has the confidence of the head of state. That’s close to a perfect ambassador in this situation.

    Reply

  24. Rasheed Abou-Alsamh says:

    While many will be surprised that Adel Al-Jubair is being appointed to Washington at the tender age of 44, I agree with Steve that King Abdullah probably wanted someone there who already knows America well, is liked by the Bush administration, and most importantly is trusted by the king.

    Reply

  25. Den Valdron says:

    Interesting. It could be argued that the deployment of a non-royal to the Embassy position could mean several things.
    First, it could mean that dynastic succession struggles are heating up, and that the playing card represented by the Embassy is being taken off the table. What this would mean is that the new guy is a placemat, and he’ll have no more influence than any other shlub. Once the internal power struggles sort out, he’s gone, and whatever he’s been saying will be replaced by the new power alignment.
    Or it could be a message or sign to the US that its importance or pre-eminence in Saudi Affairs is coming to an end. In this case, we’d see gradual disentanglement, and a shift of alliance to Russia, Europe or China… or all of them. Geez, how many times have the right wingers yammered about regime change in Saudi Arabia. Maybe the Saudi’s have decided to take that talk seriously.

    Reply

  26. Matthew says:

    Niced to see that McCain et al also went to see Abbas, er, you know, to prove that we’re good faith brokers. They didn’t? (We all know what a joke we’ve made of those terms.) I think the Bush Administration is living proof of what happens when the United States delegates its Near East Policy to Israel. It’s all going so well. And we will continue to circle the bowel until that changes.

    Reply

  27. grantman says:

    Hey, Pissed off American, I’d rather have McCain et. al speaking with the Israeli’s than Kerry & Dodd with Assad! Groveling little weasels. That’s a helluva lot more indicative of the country going to hell than what you mention in your post.

    Reply

  28. Dirk says:

    Meanwhile another major energy producing country is also in the news:
    From the BBC:”Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the Central Asian country for 21 years, has died aged 66, state TV has reported.”
    http://tinyurl.com/y8wwed
    Steve didn’t you say you had a pretty good relationship with Turkmenistan’s ambassador to the US? Although Niyazov was a true NUT with his own gold plated statue of himself in Ashgabat that continuously rotated so that it always faced the sun.

    Reply

  29. juliyya says:

    Steve, you are the king of scoops! This news isn’t even on Google yet, but I don’t see how it’s surprising. Adel is brilliant, at least partially educated in Texas, well-known to D.C. and Americans, has had King Abdullah’s confidence for some time, unflappable and a grand master of diplospeak.

    Reply

  30. steambomb says:

    WOW! What’d that guy do to piss the king off?

    Reply

  31. Heraldblog says:

    I’ve seen this guy speak on TV before. He has excellent English, even has the slang down. It was quite startling really to hear him talk. He was defending his country’s rigid Sharia laws, and lying through his teeth while he was doing it. This should be fun.

    Reply

  32. Jay C says:

    Steve:
    While I am sure that the appointment of Mr. al-Jubair as the new Saudi Ambassador IS “fairly big news” – if only ‘cuz he doesn’t have a “His Highness” to add to his honorifics – perhaps you could explain just HOW “big” a change this is. Is this appointment indicative of any significant changes/significant lack-of-changes in Saudi/US relations? Or it is more of a “domestic” reshuffling due to internal/intramural palace politics in KSA?

    Reply

  33. Easy E says:

    hmm… not quite sure how the previous post pertains to this thread. oh well.
    Posted by: winnipeger at December 21, 2006 12:27 AM
    It pertains.

    Reply

  34. winnipeger says:

    hmm… not quite sure how the previous post pertains to this thread. oh well.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    Meanwhile, our so called “representatives” are busy kissing Israel’s ass. Who the fuck is paying these bastards to fly off to Israel when our own country goes to hell? I am so God damned sick of this bullshit. We oughta throw the whole batch of these sons a bitches into one of Cheney’s gulags.
    From AIPAC’s website……
    Lawmakers in Israel Seek to Isolate Iran, Syria
    A congressional delegation recently met in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and reaffirmed the American policy of isolating Iran and Syria until the terror-sponsoring nations no longer threaten U.S. allies and interests in the Middle East. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) also discussed with Olmert the ongoing rocket threat from the Gaza Strip. McCain and Lieberman took a helicopter tour of areas hit by Qassam rockets and also met with the families of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped last summer by the terrorist army Hizballah. Members of Congress routinely visit Israel, saying visits to the Jewish state provide up-close perspective on the security challenges it faces.

    Reply

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