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Prince Saud, world's longest serving foreign minister, no more
Friday July 10, 2015 8:48 PM, IANS

Prince Saud

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's former foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, the world's longest serving foreign minister, died on Thursday at the age of 75, two months after he was replaced following 40 years on the job, a media report said.

Prince Saud breathed his last in the US, Al Arabiya News cited his family members as saying.

"May God accept him in paradise," the prince's nephew Saud Mohammed al-Abdullah al-Faisal said on Twitter.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal, well regarded among the diplomatic community and a man with a good sense of humour, had become the world's longest serving foreign minister by the time of his retirement in April 2015.

Born on January 2, 1940, in Taif, Al-Faisal was the second son of King Faisal and Iffat Al-Thunayan. He attended the Hun School of Princeton and graduated from Princeton University in the US in 1963 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.

In 1966, he moved to the general organisation for petroleum and mineral resources (Petromin). In February 1970, he became the deputy governor of Petromin for planning affairs. He was also a member of the High Coordination Committee.

From 1971, he served as deputy minister of petroleum until his appointment as state minister for foreign affairs in March 1975.

His term ended on April 29, 2015, when he was replaced by Adel Al-Jubeir, former Saudi ambassador to the US.

Prince Saud spoke seven languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Hebrew.

Starting in 1998, in the reign of King Fahd, Prince Saud and the then crown prince Abdullah managed the energy sector through a committee of technocrats and princes.

Prince Saud said in 2004 that Saudi Arabia would like to reduce its dependence on US-dominated security arrangements.

In July 2004, he claimed the real source of problems in the Middle East were not Muslims but "injustice and deprivation inflicted in the region".

In July 2006, he urged then US president George W. Bush to call for a halt to the Lebanon bombing.

In August 2007, he denied allegations that terrorists were travelling from Saudi Arabia to Iraq and claimed it was the other way round.

In January 2008, he supported parliamentary elections in Pakistan. He indicated that Pakistan did not need "overt, external interference" to solve political division. He commended Nawaz Sharif as a stable bipartisan candidate.

On November 20, 2009, King Abdullah appointed Prince Saud as chairman of the influential Supreme Economic Council. Prince Saud was also a member of the military service council.

Prince Saud leaves behind wife Jawhara Bint Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman, three sons and three daughters. His daughter Haifa Bint Saud is married to Prince Sultan Bin Salman, the first Arab astronaut.

He was closely involved in philanthropy and was a founding member of the King Faisal Foundation and chairman of the board of directors for the King Faisal School and Al Faisal University in Riyadh.

He was also a member of the Society for Disabled Children and the Madina Society for Welfare and Social Services.

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