Saturday, September 27, 2003

Jordan, but not the country

The American ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Robert Jordan, has left his post amidst some apparent controversy. Reports state that Mr. Jordan quit due to ubiquitous "personal reasons" and that he was in good standing with the Saudis before he left. Speaking of Mr. Jordan, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan stated that he was "one of the most distinguished U.S. ambassadors to serve in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]." Prince Bandar also stated "Ambassador Jordan made many friends in the kingdom and gained the respect of everyone who had the opportunity to work with him. I am proud to call him my friend, and I will continue to seek his wise counsel."

However, there have been other reports suggesting that the Saudi government pressured the US to remove Mr. Jordan from his post because "he publicly sided with the pro-U.S. contender for the throne who backs limits on the influence of Islamic clerics." This would not be the first time that a US ambassador was asked to leave Saudi Arabia. In 1988 Ambassador Hume Horan was asked to leave Saudi Arabia after he chided the Saudis for buying missiles from China.


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