Inna lillahi wa inna alehi rajioon
“With deep sorrow and sadness … King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz mourns the death of his brother and his Crown Prince Sultan who died at dawn this morning Saturday outside the kingdom following an illness,” the Saudi state press agency said.
Prince Sultan’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, the statement said.
He was an “important and influential senior prince” who played a key role in relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, particularly Yemen, said Hussein Shobokshi, a columnist for the Asharq Alawsat newspaper.
“He was always in favour of stability and has always been in touch with various sectors of Yemeni society, tribal, governmental, and he was keen on having … a smooth political climate that does not affect the kingdom,” Shobokshi said.
With Prince Sultan’s death, his brother Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, the longtime minister of interior, becomes the most likely candidate to be next in line to rule after King Abdullah.
Other Interesting Tid-bits. This via @SultanAlQassemi
- CNN: U.S. official: Saudi Crown Prince dies http://bit.ly/ovy8RL
- CNN announced the death before any news agency in Saudi
- Saudi Crown Prince Sultan was born in 1925 & was appointed Governor of Riyadh in 1947 by his father King Abdul Aziz Al Saud
- Al Arabiya announces Crown Prince Sultan’s death at age of 86. Sultan is younger than King Abdullah
- Saudi analyst: People in Saudi consider this big news as CP Sultan was the second (strongest) man in Saudi
- He was in charge of the Yemeni file in Saudi. He oversaw the bilateral relations.
- He died at dawn in a hospital in New York, he was the 15th son of King Abdul Aziz, founder of Saudi Arabia.
- He was one of the so called “Sudeiri Seven” which included King Fahad & includes Prince Nayef & Prince Salman.
- The so-called “Sudeiri Seven” Saudi princes were named so due to their influential mother Princess Hassa Al Sudairi (wife of Saudi founder)
- Al Arabiya correspondent: Former Saudi Crown Prince Sultan’s body will arrive in Saudi on Tuesday
- His wife Princess Monira bint Abdulaziz bin Jalawi died in Paris on August 25 2011
- He was the father of Bandar Bin Sultan (born 1949) who served as Saudi Ambassador to US from 1983 to 2005. Prince Sultan’s son Prince Bandar is now the Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council (appointed in 2005)
- He was also the father of Prince Khaled (born 1949), Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation. Prince Khaled Bin Sultan (son of former Crown Prince Sultan) was in charge of 2009 Saudi war on Yemen rebels
- Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz (born 1936) was with Crown Prince Sultan throughout his treatment
- He was part of the Saudi team that signed the declaration of the UN in San Francisco 1945 – Saudi Analyst Hani Wafa
- He oversaw the rapprochement with Qatar that allowed Al Jazeera to operate in Saudi.
A lot of this information thanks to @SultanAlQassemi
- He will be buried on Tuesday after “Asr” (afternoon) prayers in Saudi – Al Arabiya
- Saudi “Succession Council” expected to meet soon to decide on next steps – Al Arabiya Correspondent
- Here is the full text of the Saudi Allegiance (Succession) Council in English http://bit.ly/nv3dXw
- The Saudi Succession Council aka Allegiance Council that is due to meet soon (according to Al Arabiya correspondent) was formed in Oct 2006.
- It is formed of 34 members: 15 surviving sons of Saudi founder King Abdul-Aziz and 19 of his grandsons.
- It is chaired by Prince Mishaal (born 1926) who although senior is not considered in line for Saudi succession.
- Prince Mishal, Chairman of Saudi Allegiance Council served as Saudi Defence Minister & has only one full brother, Prince Miteb. (born 1931)
- Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef, named second-deputy prime minister in 2009, is now believed to be next in line for Saudi succession.
Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
- Prince Nayef’s Wikipedia entry
- On the Phone to Al Jazeera: Saad Omar, Advisor to Saudi Shura council: “Practically & by custom Prince Nayef will be the next King”
- He became Governor of Riyadh in 1953 the year his father King Abdul-Aziz (born 1876) passed away.
- He became deputy Saudi Interior Minister in 1954 (under King Saud) & Interior Minister in 1975.
- He is one of the most conservative forces in Al-Saud [FACTBOX Reuters 2010]
- Prince Nayef is one of the most conservative forces in the ruling family and is feared by liberals and reformers. Shortly before his promotion last year, Nayef said he saw no need for female lawmakers or to hold elections at all.
- Other diplomats in Riyadh say Nayef will have no choice but to continue with some reforms as the kingdom needs to attract investors to create thousands of jobs for its rising population but overall doubts over the course of reforms remain.
- In June 2010 he admonished the religious police to treat people with respect, a move described by an official at the interior ministry as showing that Nayef can be flexible.
- King strongly believes in women’s role: Prince Naif [Gazette]
- Though the conservative label is overly simplistic, Nayef’s lifetime emphasis on the security imperative suggests that he may represent the interest of more conservative royals. [Foreign Policy]
- Nayef played a crucial role in dealing with a series of al Qaeda attacks in Saudi
- Nayef had raised eyebrows abroad after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States when he denied that Saudis were among the hijackers, suggested Jews instead were behind the attacks, and held up cooperation with Western security bodies.
- The confrontation strengthened Nayef’s pivotal role in the monarchy and helped him extend his authority into foreign policy, religious affairs and the media.