Former Saudi FM Prince Saud al-Faisal dies

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Former Saudi FM Prince Saud al-Faisal dies

Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, seen, during a press release at Riyadh Airbase in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, March 15, 2009. (AP)

Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Thursday, 9 July 2015

Saudi Arabia’s former foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal died on Thursday at the age of 75, two months after he was replaced following 40 years in the job, family members and a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Nawaf al-Faisal, a relative, announced the death on Facebook, while a foreign ministry spokesman also confirmed the death on Twitter and expressed condolences.

"I wish I could deny the rumour of the news of your death," the spokesman Osama Nugali tweeted.

Prince Saud's nephew Saud Mohammed al-Abdullah al-Faisal also acknowledged the death of the veteran diplomat. "May God accept him in paradise," he wrote on Twitter.


Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, not pictured, at the State Department in Washington. (File photo: AP)

Prince Saud, who was appointed in 1975, was the world’s longest serving foreign minister when he was replaced on April 29 by Adel al-Jubeir, the then ambassador to Washington.

The prince, who was born in 1940, was one of the highest profile members of Saudi's ruling elite and steered the diplomacy of the world's leading oil exporter for four decades before stepping down in April for health reasons.


He oversaw Saudi Arabia's emergence as a major diplomatic player, facing successive regional crises and maintaining a focus on relations with the West.

Prince Saud retained an influential position in Saudi foreign policy circles even after his replacement, serving as an official adviser to King Salman, who took power in January, and was sometimes present when foreign leaders met the monarch

Prince Saud's tenure covered Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 2006, the Palestinian intifadas that erupted in 1987 and 2000, Iraq's invasion of Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, and a U.S.-led coalition's occupation of Iraq in 2003.


Last Update: Thursday, 9 July 2015 KSA 21:54 - GMT 18:54
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/09/Saudi-s-former-FM-Saud-al-Faisal-dies-.html
 
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RIP ..:(
 
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Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal: the ultimate diplomat

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal waves as he leaves after a joint press conference with Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's special adviser on national security and foreign affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP)

By Shounaz Meky | Al Arabiya News
Thursday, 30 July 2015

Late Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s longest serving foreign minister, had a legendary career filled with international crises, oil wars and special ties with his foreign counterparts.

Not only he will be remembered for steering Saudi Arabia through the stormy seas of international politics, the diplomat, who died in July, was also renowned for his unique personality and voracious desire to learn.

A speaker of seven languages, including Hebrew, Prince Saud is said to have preferred his mother tongue of Arabic above all.

He was attracted to reading about history and Arabic literature, and is said to have shown a love for Arabic poetry and Western classics.

Prince Saud died aged 75 on July 9, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. The diplomat suffered from chronic back pain and other conditions. His deteriorating health was most obvious with his hands appearing shaky and his speech slurred during public appearances toward the end of his career.

Those who knew him remember the dignitary as a walking-talking encyclopedia of international politics.

It is reported that engaging in deep political conversation in Saudi Arabia would, and still does, earn you eye-rolling and a retort in Arabic that means: “O don’t pretend to be Saud al-Faisal!”

This opinion was not only held in Saudi Arabia, with former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa once describing Prince Saud as a “school of wise diplomacy and strong opinions.

“He was strong during situations that required strength, a human during situations that needed a human touch, a diplomat when diplomacy was needed and an expert on issues that needed expertise,” Moussa said of the late prince.


Prince Saudi with Amr Moussa. (Al Arabiya)

The Saudi Ambassador to Norway Faisal Tarad praised Prince Saud’s generosity and tenderness and his apparent brotherly approach when dealing with his peers.

“In his last words with me, he urged that we continue our collaboration on good causes and that we stay in touch,” Tarad told al Arabiya News Channel, recalling his last phone call with the prince.

Throughout his 40-year career, Prince Saud served with 13 U.S. secretaries of state and shared a few special moments with some.

He once surprised former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with a chocolate birthday cake.

A day before her actual birthday, a chocolate birthday cake was wheeled in during a joint press conference between the two official and the dignitaries proceeded to enjoy a slice as cameras snapped away.



Current U.S. officials have praised Prince Saud’s key role in sustaining a “long friendship” between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama described him as a “committed and accomplished diplomat.

“Generations of American leaders and diplomats benefited from Prince Saud's thoughtful perspective, charisma and poise, and diplomatic skill,” he said in a statement released after the prince’s death.

“He was committed to the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the pursuit of stability and security in the Middle East and beyond, and his legacy will be remembered around the world.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Prince Saud “a man of vast experience, personal warmth, great dignity and keen insights who served his country loyally and well.

“The longevity of his term in office -– he served with 13 U.S. secretaries of state -- is a sign of the universal respect with which he was viewed,” Kerry said.

“I personally admired him greatly, valued his friendship and appreciated his wise counsel. His legacy as a statesman and diplomat will not be forgotten.”


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (AP)

Praise did not only emanate from the U.S.’s political elite, however.

Prominent American journalist David Ignatius from the Washington Post said he was always moved by the strength of Prince Saud, who he says retained a knack for mental sharpness despite the many illnesses he suffered.

“The ideas he expressed, even with this weakened body, were clear and powerful and that’s what I remember being moved by the most,” Ignatius told Al Arabiya News Channel in an interview.

“Our bodies leave us, but our minds stay strong and clear. Nobody showed that more than Prince Saud.”


Last Update: Thursday, 30 July 2015 KSA 15:07 - GMT 12:07
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2015/07/30/Prince-Saud-al-Faisal-the-ultimate-diplomat-.html
 
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