Bandar bin Sultan

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Prince Bandar bin Sultan is a member of the Saudi royal family and a personal friend to several US Presidents.

His Royal Highness, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (Arabic: صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير بندر بن سلطان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود) (March 2, 1949 - present) is a highly influential Saudi politician and the current Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Born in Taif, Saudi Arabia, Prince Bandar is a son of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. He attended the British Royal Air Force College and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, where he served for seventeen years. He is a trained pilot, and has flown numerous fighter aircraft. He attended classes at several additional colleges, including training at Maxwell Air Force Base, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and Johns Hopkins University.

Prince Bandar's diplomatic experience began in 1978, when he successfully lobbied the United States Congress to approve the sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia. In 1983 he was assigned ambassador to the United States.

Prince Bandar has formed close relationships with several American presidents, notably George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, for which he was given the affectionate nickname "Bandar Bush". His friendship with Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, extends to the years before Cheney took office as the United States Vice President. Prince Bandar invited the Cheney family to his daughter's wedding in the 1990s, but they did not attend.

Prince Bandar has endured controversy over allegations in the book Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward that President George W. Bush informed him of the decision to invade Iraq ahead of Secretary of State Colin Powell. Also, the book alleges a deal has been worked out to reduce oil prices just ahead of the November 2004 election. Bandar has publicly endorsed President Bush.

The close relationship with the Bush family is also described in Craig Unger's book House of Bush, House of Saud.

He is married to Princess Haifa bint Faisal. They have four sons and four daughters.

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