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World leaders condole death of Prince Sultan

Sunday October 23, 2011 07:57:30 AM, Agencies

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Saudi crown prince dies

Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, died Saturday outside the Kingdom following a prolonged illness, the Royal Court announced. He was 80. The late prince's funeral will take place Tuesday.  »

Jeddah: Messages of condolences poured in from world leaders, expressing their shock and sorrow and sense of loss. Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, died Saturday outside the Kingdom following a prolonged illness. He was 80.


Jordan’s King Abdallah called Saudi King to express his condolences. He said he was shocked to hear the sad news. “Jordan, which holds Prince Sultan in high esteem, commends his services to the Kingdom and Arab and Islamic causes,” he said. The king opened a World Economic Forum in the country's Dead Sea resort town with a minute of silence in the late prince's honor.

Kuwait said it would mark the prince's death with three days of official mourning.

In a statement issued by the White House, US President Barack Obama also expressed his "deepest condolences" on the death of the ailing Saudi Crown Prince, Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.


"It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying in the statement.

The president said the crown prince, as defence and aviation minister for almost 50 years, dedicated himself to the welfare and security of his people and country, and was a valued friend of the US.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a trip to the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, said the prince would be "missed," stressing Washington's enduring ties with the Kingdom. "I offer my deepest condolences for this loss to King Abdullah and the Saudi people," she said. "He will be missed."

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "saddened" to hear of Prince Sultan's death. "He had many friends in this country, and we have all benefited from his wisdom and expertise in international affairs over his long years of service," the prime minister said.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, wrote to King Abdullah, his Clarence House office said. "The Prince of Wales sent a personal letter of condolence to the king of Saudi Arabia expressing his deep sadness at the news," a spokesman said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the death of Prince Sultan a great loss to the Palestinian cause. "With the death of Crown Prince Sultan, the Kingdom and our Islamic and Arab nation lost an outstanding leader, a wise statesman who devoted his life for the service of his homeland, religion and the humanity," Abbas said in a letter to King Abdullah.

"We will remember with gratitude, pride and appreciation the deceased's positions, commitment and support toward our people by all means and on all political, material and moral levels", Abbas said.

Abbas added: "With his death, Palestine lost a dear and a strong supporter."

Syrian President Bashar Assad also sent condolences to King Abdullah.

From Iran, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi sent condolences, expressing "sympathy to his counterpart and the deceased's next of kin," media reported.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she had learned of the prince's death "with great sadness" and offered her "sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the Kingdom and its people for the great loss."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "He served the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many years with great dignity and dedication. His contribution to the prosperity and development of the Kingdom will long be remembered."

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said: "Pakistan has been deprived of a great friend." In a separate message, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said the people of Pakistan joined him in extending their heartfelt condolences by sharing the grief of the Saudi royal family.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) described him as “one of the great sagacious leaders of the Islamic Ummah, who had devoted his generosity-marked life in the service of his nation and the Islamic Ummah.” OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu sent a cable of condolences to King Abdullah.


Prince Sultan was the seventh of the 36 sons of King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, who united and founded Saudi Arabia in 1932. Like Nayef and the deceased former King Fahd, he was a member of the "Sudairi Seven," the powerful alliance of seven surviving sons of Abdul-Aziz and one of his wives, Princess Hissa Al Sudairi.







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