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Saudi Arabia replaces US ambassador, appoints kingdom's first woman envoy

The reshuffle comes as ties with Washington are under strain following Khashoggi's murder last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

AFP | PTI  |  Riyadh 

Princess Rima bint Bandar
File photo of Princess Rima bint Bandar. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

has replaced its to the United States, a royal decree announced Saturday, as the fallout over Jamal Khashoggi's murder tests relations between the two allies.

was appointed the kingdom's to Washington, replacing Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was named

Prince Khalid is the younger brother of Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler who also serves as the

The reshuffle comes as ties with are under strain following Khashoggi's murder last October in the

After initially denying they knew anything of Khashoggi's disappearance, the Saudis finally acknowledged that a team killed him inside the consulate, but described it as a rogue operation.

US lawmakers have threatened to take tougher action against over the brutal killing amid claims that the was personally responsible.

The has strongly denied he had anything to do with the murder of Khashoggi who was a with Post. The killing refocused attention on a Saudi-led military coalition's bombing campaign in Yemen, which is gripped by what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this month, the voted overwhelmingly to end American involvement in Saudi Arabia's war effort in neighbouring Yemen, dealing a rebuke to who has publicly thrown his support behind the

US lawmakers this month also said they were probing whether Trump was rushing to sell sensitive to to please corporate supporters who stand to profit handsomely.

The committee has voiced fears that Saudi Arabia could convert US expertise into making a nuclear bomb, heightening already severe tensions with regional rival

First Published: Sun, February 24 2019. 06:15 IST