WASHINGTON, Dec 21: Adel al-Jubeir, a foreign policy adviser to Saudi King Abdullah, is expected to be named Riyadh's next ambassador to the United States, it was reported.
Jubeir, who became the public face of his country in the US media after the September. 11 attacks, will replace Prince Turki al-Faisal, who recently resigned as Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington after 15 months in the post, according to reports in the Washington Post and an Internet blog published by analyst Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation think tank.
Jubeir is a well-known figure in Washington government circles.
Young and telegenic, he was designated by the kingdom to lead a public effort to disassociate the Saudi royal family from the Islamic extremism of al Qaeda after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Most of the hijackers who flew four planes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field were Saudi born.
The Post quoted US officials as saying Jubeir would be the envoy.
Clemons reported that Jubeir ''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.'' The impending appointment represents a meteoric rise in Saudi diplomacy for a man who last served in Washington as special assistant to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, now the Saudi national security adviser, the Post said yesterday.
Jubeir, 44, attended the University of North Texas and Georgetown University.