Former Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal dies

12 July 2015

The 75-year old was the world’s longest-serving foreign minister until leaving the role in April

Former Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has died at the age of 75 just two months after retiring from 40 years in the job.

Prince Saud was the world’s longest-serving foreign minister until he was replaced on 29 April by Adel al-Jubeir, who was then ambassador to the US.

He was appointed foreign minister by King Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in 1975 and served under four Saudi kings.

Over the course of Prince Saud’s tenure, the kingdom’s foreign policy played an increasingly active role in the region, especially following the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001.

Prince Saud was also part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to contain Iranian influence in the region, including the support of anti-government factions in the Syrian civil war.

Prince Saud, a son of King Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, was born in Taif near Mecca in 1940. His education included earning a degree from the US’ Princeton University in the 1960s before he spent years in the Petroleum Ministry.

In 1975, he replaced his father as foreign minister when King Faisal was assassinated. His father had retained the role of foreign minister after becoming king in 1962.

Prince Saud died on 10 July in the US.

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