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Saudi Arabia finally gets a US ambassador after 2-year vacancy

The career diplomat’s confirmation follows China's brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as improving relations between Washington and Riyadh.
US Consul General of Jerusalem Michael Ratney speaks at the American consulate in Jerusalem on June 4, 2015 during a reception ahead of the 4th of July American Independence day celebrations. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Senate confirmed Michael Ratney on Wednesday to serve as US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, almost a year since he was nominated to the position. The confirmation follows improvements in US-Saudi relations, including a significant multibillion dollar Boeing purchase this week. 

Background: Ratney, 62, is a career foreign service officer. He most recently served as acting deputy director of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. 

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