President Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Gen. John Abizaid(retd.), on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia plays a “pivotal role” in the fight against global terrorism. Speaking on Wednesday at his Senate confirmation hearing, Abizaid said it would be a “great honor” to work on strengthening the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. He said, “In the long run, we need a strong and mature partnership with Saudi Arabia. It is in our interests to make sure that the relationship is sound.” Abizaid added that Saudi Arabia’s contribution to tackling extremism had effectively cut off funding networks for Daesh — which he said has been “nearly vanquished on the ground,” but remains a “potent threat” to the US and its allies — and that any “reduction of relations between America and Saudi Arabia” would undermine regional security.