US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid praised the Kingdom’s hospitality during this year’s Hajj season, noting Saudi Arabia’s generosity was “truly on display for the world to see.”
“On behalf of the United States Mission to Saudi Arabia I would like to extend our best wishes to all Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world who are celebrating Eid-Al-Adha,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“I would also like to express our thanks to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin and Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh for welcoming the thousands of American Muslims participating in this year’s pilgrimage,” he said.
“Saudi generosity is truly on display for the world to see during this special time of year,” he added.
An experienced military leader who retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 after 34 years of service, Gen. Abizaid was head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). At the time of his retirement, Abizaid was the longest serving commander of U.S. Central Command, from July 2003 and March 2007.
Gen. Abizaid is Lebanese-American and speaks Arabic, having learned the language while serving the U.S. armed forces in the Middle East. He is a graduate of West Point, and has a M.A. from Harvard.