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Former Saudi foreign minister dies at 75

9 July 2015 23:20



Former Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has died at the age of 75 two months after he was replaced by Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir.

Family members and a Feign Ministry spokesman on Thursday confirmed the death of Faisal, the world’s longest-serving foreign minister.

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

A close source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Faisal died in his mansion in Los Angeles, the United States, after suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Faisal was a member of the royal family and appointed to the position of Foreign Minister in 1975.

He was replaced by Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the United States, after king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree on April 29, relieving Faisal of his duties.

Salman was himself crowned as the king of Saudi Arabia on January 23, following the death of his half brother, King Abdullah, at the age of 90.

Faisal was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and back pain, and had undergone several operations in the US. He had a successful spine surgery there in January, according to the Saudi Royal Court. The former Saudi foreign minister was photographed using a walker during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in March.

Born in 1940 in the mountain city of Taif, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the holy city of Mecca, Faisal saw Israel invade Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 2006, as well as the Palestinian intifadas (uprisings) in 1987 and 2000, the Iran-Iraq war from September 1980 to August 1988, the occupation of Afghanistan by US-led forces in 2001, and the invasion of Iraq by US-led troops in 2003.

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