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Newsline: White House says envoy to Saudi Arabia to be nominated

President Joe Biden intends to nominate Michael Ratney to be U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the White House said on Friday, amid strained relations between Washington and its traditional Gulf allies. (https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-nominate-michael-ratney-envoy-saudi-arabia-white-house-says-2022-04-22/) Ratney previously served as charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and as U.S. special envoy for Syria. A career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, he also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Qatar. Washington has been trying to persuade Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, to pump more oil to offset potential losses in Russian supplies after Moscow was sanctioned by the West over its invasion of Ukraine. Prior to that, their traditionally strong alliance had hit a bad patch, due in part to the Saudi role in the war in Yemen and by the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

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