Former Saudi FM Dies

Former Saudi FM DiesFormer Saudi FM Dies

Former Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal died on Thursday, Saudi sources and media close to the kingdom's ruling family reported, two months after he retired following four decades in the job.

Prince Saud, who was 75, was the world's longest-serving foreign minister when replaced on April 29 by Adel al-Jubeir, the then-ambassador to Washington, Trade Arabia reported.

Al-Arabiya channel, which is close to King Salman's branch of the ruling family, confirmed the news.

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

Prince Saud was a son of the late king Faisal. He was born in 1940 in the city of Taif near Mecca and graduated with a degree in economics from Princeton University in mid-1960s.

He began his career in government as a consultant at the ministry of petroleum and later in 1971 he became deputy minister of petroleum.

He was appointed as state minister for foreign affairs in 1975 after his father, who had retained control of the foreign affairs portfolio after becoming king in 1962, was killed by a nephew.

One of his last public appearances was before the kingdom’s consultative Shoura Council a few days after Saudi Arabia began its airstrikes on Yemen in late March.

While the king wields the final say on major decisions in the kingdom, Prince Saud was the country’s voice in the many crises and conflicts during several turbulent periods in the Middle East.