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His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud is the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. Born at Taif on March 2, 1949, Bandar bin Sultan is the son of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector-General of Saudi Arabia. He has borne four sons and four daughters with his wife, Princess Haifa Bint Faisal.

Familial background left at that, he graduated from the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, in 1968 and has since his flight training in the US and UK, he has flown numerous Fighter Aircraft including the JP-3, JP-4, T-38, T-33, F-5, F-53, F-55, F-102, and the F-15. During his military career spanning seventeen years, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The Prince completed his master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, in 1980 after post graduate studies at several US military facilities including Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, and with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, DC.

Since his education, Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been an important international figure, often taking roles and assignments such as cease-fire negotiations in the Lebanese civil war, and has been a regular member of the Kingdom's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly since 1984. He has also been awarded numerous medals, including the Hawk Flying Medal of Aviation, the King Faisal Medal, and the King Abdul Aziz Sash. He also has been awarded medals by other nations.

Prince Bandar was first appointed Ambassador to the United States by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud on September 27, 1983. He is currently Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in the United States. On August 7, 1995, he was promoted to the rank of Minister.

However, Prince Bandar first came to my attention and to that of numerous other US Citizens when I was up late programming with the news on the TV in the other room on the programme "Hardball". Suddenly, I finished my current segment and wandered in to find him actually arguing with a member of the media without regards for what the media man thought of him, going as far as to say, (it was live) when the news puppet tried to put words in his mouth, "You know what? This is bullshit, to be honest with you." You simply don't get that kind of direct rejection of the games the media tries to play with people in government positions. To this day, that fire and spirit in getting his actual meaning across rather than falling prey to a verbal misphrasing or entrapment has earned him respect in my eyes.

Primary source: Saudi Arabian US Embassy website

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