Prince Saud led the country’s foreign affairs for 40 years before retiring in April, apparently for health reasons.
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, who was appointed in 1975, was the world’s longest serving foreign minister when he was replaced on April 29 by Adel al-Jubeir, the then ambassador to Washington.
In his condolence message, he said that death of Saud Al Faisal is a great loss not only to the people of Kingdom but also to the people of Pakistan.
Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said: “The eye tears, the heart saddens”.
King Salman came to the throne in January after the death of his half-brother King Abdullah.
Prince Saud’s tenure covered Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 2006, the Palestinian intifadas that erupted in 1987 and 2000, Iraq’s invasion of Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, and a U.S.-led coalition’s occupation of Iraq in 2003.
The president says generations of US diplomats benefited from the prince’s “thoughtful perspective, charisma and poise”.
“He was committed to the importance of the US-Saudi relationship and the pursuit of stability and security in the Middle East and beyond, and his legacy will be remembered around the world”.
“I personally admired him greatly, valued his friendship and appreciated his wise counsel”.
The prince often swapped his traditional Saudi thobe and checkered shemagh headdress for elegant suits when on missions in Western capitals.