David Cameron has paid tribute to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal, the world’s longest-serving foreign minister, for his “great wisdom” following his death aged 75. Prince Saud was in the post for four decades until his retirement in April. His tenure saw him navigate the oil-rich region through a number of crises, including Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, the 9/11 terror attacks in the US and subsequent invasion of Iraq, and most recently the rise of Islamic State (IS). The Prime Minister echoed comments by US secretary of state John Kerry who previously hailed Prince Saud as being “among the wisest” foreign ministers. Mr Cameron said: “I am saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Saud al Faisal.
Prince Saud al-Faisal
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal, who was the world’s longest-serving foreign minister with 40 years in the post until his retirement, has died at the age of 75. The tall, stately Prince Saud was a fixture of Middle East diplomacy, representing the oil-rich Gulf powerhouse as it wielded its influence in crisis after crisis shaking the region - from Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, through multiple rounds of Arab-Israeli peace efforts, the 1990 Iraqi invasion of neighbouring Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War, al Qaida’s September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq to the current day’s tensions between the Arab Gulf bloc and Iran, Arab Spring uprisings, Syria’s civil war and the spread of Islamic State extremists. The country’s government-owned media announced his death just after midnight. The official announcement, carried by state television, did not state the cause of death.