Saudi foreign minister reported in critical condition

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal is said
to be in critical condition.

The foreign minister, some of whose duties were taken over by Crown Prince Salman, marked the latest in a series of senior Saudi officials struck with illness or incapacitation. Over the last nine months, the kingdom saw the death of two crown princes.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal.

Saudi opposition sources said the 71-year-old minister was deemed too
weak to travel to the United States for medical treatment. They said Saud,
foreign minister since 1975, was being treated at a hospital in Jedda.

“His health condition appears to be extremely critical and possibly
fatal,” the Institute for Gulf Affairs said.

In a statement on Aug. 21, the institute, aligned with the Saudi
opposition, did not specify Saud’s illness. In 2011, the institute provided information that proved largely accurate on the illness of other senior Saudi officials.

Over the last year, Saud curtailed his workload amid an unspecified
illness believed by many to be cancer.

The Washington-based institute said Saud would likely be succeeded by
the son of King Abdullah. Prince Abdul Aziz, 49, has been deputy foreign
minister since 2011, when he moved from the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

“The accelerated ascension of Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah to the minister of
foreign affairs position will likely cause a shift in Saudi foreign policy
in favor of a pragmatic, rather than ideological approach developed under Al
Faisal,” the institute, which focuses on the kingdom’s Shi’ite minority,

“This shift may involve a more active engagement with regional players
including Iran, Turkey and Egypt as well as non-state actors such as Hamas,
the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hizbullah.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Real-Time News from Times247.com