Prince Saud’s nephew Saud Mohammed al-Abdullah al-Faisal also acknowledged the death of the veteran diplomat.
Prince Saud’s death was announced on Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television and confirmed by Osama Nugali, a spokesman at the foreign ministry.
“All the neighbourhood, if you will, will be at peace with Israel, will recognise their right to exist”.
The cause of al-Faisal’s death has not been revealed, though the Saudi information ministry said an official statement on the matter would be released later Thursday.
Equally at home in Arab robes or a tweed suit and tie, and as fluent in English as in Arabic, Prince Saud proved adept at cutting through diplomatic niceties to deliver Saudi Arabia’s message with pith and wit.
The son of King Faisal, Prince Saud was born in 1940, and was among the first generation to receive both a traditional and a Western education.
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.
Before that, Saudi kings were directly in charge of foreign affairs. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said the world had lost a “noble” diplomat.
Obama says the prince’s legacy will be remembered around the world.
He led Saudi diplomacy over a period that saw the kingdom – once better known for behind-the-scenes influence – become more overt in throwing its weight in affairs across the Mideast. The shah still ruled Iran, while in Iraq a young Saddam Hussein was plotting his path to power. The monarch declined his request, telling him, “So I should be the only one to die in office?”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir vowed today that his country would prevent any “negative actions” by rival Iran, as the two countries back opposing factions in Yemen’s conflict.