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Saudi Arabia and Turkey have no US ambassadors in the Khashoggi crisis
Quartz
There’s no US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and 54 other countries (some not visible in map above).
OUR MAN IN NOWHERE

The US has no ambassadors in Turkey or Saudi Arabia to handle a journalist’s disappearance

Max de Haldevang
By Max de Haldevang

Geopolitics reporter

President Donald Trump says the US is being “very tough” in dealing with the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Saudi Arabia’s Turkish embassy. There’s a snag, though: The US doesn’t have an ambassador in either Ankara or Riyadh to handle the crisis.

The New York Times and Washington Post (paywalls) report that Turkish officials believe Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist based in the US who in the past year has become critical of the Saudi monarchy, was killed in the embassy. US intelligence reports say Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman signed off on a plot to abduct him, reports the Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a contributor.

Trump offered his take on the situation to Fox News this morning: “We don’t like it. I don’t like it. No good.”

In a fiery exchange with a reporter yesterday, US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino insisted that “senior diplomatic officials” were “very much in charge” of the situation, despite the absence of ambassadors to both countries. He seemed to blame the Senate for not having confirmed people to the positions—despite no one having been nominated for either job.

The two US allies are far from the only important powers not to have a US ambassador in place. The Trump administration has struggled to fill major State Department positions, after swaths of top Republican foreign policy figures signed a letter (paywall) warning against Trump during the campaign. In total, 56 countries have no US ambassadors—with vacancies in key places like Mexico, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, and South Africa.

Here’s a full list of absentees.

NumberCountry
1Albania
2Australia
3Azerbaijan
4Bahamas
5Belarus
6Belize
7Bolivia
8Botswana
9Brunei
10Central African Republic
11Chad
12Comoros
13Cote D’Ivoire
14Cuba
15Egypt
16Eritrea
17Estonia
18Fiji
19Gambia
20Ghana
21Goergia
22Honduras
23Iceland
24Ireland
25Jamaica
26Jordan
27Kiribati
28Libya
29Madagascar
30Maldives
31Malta
32Mexico
33Mongolia
34Morocco
35Nauru
36Pakistan
37Panama
38Qatar
39Saudi Arabia
40Singapore
41Slovenia
42Somalia
43South Africa
44Sri Lanka
45Sudan
46Suriname
47Sweden
48Syria
49Tajikistan
50Tanzania
51Thailand
52Tonga
53Turkey
54Tuvalu
55United Arab Emirates
56Venezuela
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