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John Abizaid confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia

In this image, Trump and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia shake hands in an Oval Office meeting.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Trump shake hands on May 20, 2017. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

John Abizaid, a retired army general and former U.S. Central Command commander, was named the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in a 92-7 vote.

The backdrop: This post has been vacant since 2017, which became a sore point in the backlash against the Trump administration for failing to respond with force to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's assassination at the Saudi Sonsulate in Istanbul. U.S. intelligence has since concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the operation against Khashoggi.

Go deeper: U.S. ambassadors have become less qualified under Trump