Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tenure 13 October 1975 – present
Predecessor Faisal
Monarch Khalid
Fahd
Abdullah
Full name
Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Saud
House House of Saud
Father Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
Mother Iffat al-Thunayan al-Saud
Born (1940-01-02) 2 January 1940 (age 74)
Taif, Saudi Arabia
Religion Islam

Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: سعود بن فيصل بن عبد العزيز آل سعود‎), also known as Saud Al Faisal (Arabic: سعود الفيصل‎) (born 2 January 1940), has been the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia since 1975. He is the world's longest-serving foreign minister.

Early life, education and early political career[edit]

Saud bin Faisal was born in Taif on 2 January 1940.[1][2] He is the second son of King Faisal and Iffat Al-Thunayan.[3][4] He attended the Hun School of Princeton[5] and graduated from Princeton University in 1964 or 1965 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.[6][7] He is full brother of Mohammed bin Faisal, Turki bin Faisal, Luluwah bint Faisal, Sara bint Faisal and Haifa bint Faisal.[8]

He became an economic consultant for the ministry of petroleum.[6] In 1966, he moved to general organization for petroleum and mineral resources (Petromin).[6] In February 1970, he became deputy governor of Petromin for planning affairs.[6] He was also a member of the High Coordination Committee.[6] In 1971, he became deputy minister of petroleum.[6] Until his appointment as state minister for foreign affairs in 1975, Prince Saud served in this post at the oil ministry.[9]

Foreign Minister[edit]

Timeline[edit]

In March 1975, King Khalid appointed him as foreign minister.[9] He is currently the world's longest-serving incumbent foreign minister. He is well regarded in the diplomatic community.[10] He speaks seven languages.[10] In December 1977, Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem without consulting Saudi officials. Upon this event, Prince Saud and Prince Sultan were outraged.

In May 1985, he officially visited Iran and meetings were focused on the annual pilgrimage of Iranians to Mecca.[11] The same year Prince Saud raised awareness in Britain of Soviet activity in the Horn of Africa.[3] He asked Condoleezza Rice to focus on "key substantive issues" of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He complained that US banks were auditing Saudi Embassy banks illegally. He asserted that auditors were "inappropriate and aggressive". He also declared that the Saudi Embassy has diplomatic immunity.[12]

Prince Saud said in 2004 that Saudi Arabia would like to reduce its dependence on U.S.-dominated security arrangements.[13] In July 2004, he claimed the real source of problems in the Middle East were not Muslims but "injustice and deprivation inflicted in the region".[14] In August 2007, he denied allegations that terrorists were travelling from Saudi Arabia to Iraq and claimed it was vice-versa.[15][16]

On 10 March 2006, he met with Hamas leaders in Riyadh.[17] In July 2006, he urged U.S. President Bush to call for a ceasefire in the Lebanon bombing.[18] In January 2008, he supported parliamentary elections in Pakistan. He indicated that Pakistan did not need "overt, external interference" to solve political division. He commended Nawaz Sharif as stable bipartisan candidate.[19]

In February 2010, he told General Jones to distinguish between friends and enemies in Pakistan rather than using indiscriminate military action. He insisted that Pakistan's army must maintain its credibility.[20] In November 2010, he led the Saudi delegation at the G-20 Summit.[21]

In January 2011, he withdrew out of mediation efforts to reinstate a government in Lebanon.[22] In March 2011, he went to Europe to rally support for Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain.[23]

After U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the GCC secretariat in Riyadh on 31 March 2012, he said it was a "duty" to arm the Syrian opposition and help them defend themselves against the daily bloody crackdown by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.[24] Commenting on the fragile security situation, Prince Saud noted that: "One of the most important causes is the continuation of the unresolved conflict as well as the continuation of the Israeli aggression policy against the Palestinians. "We have discussed, in the meeting, many issues, especially the heinous massacre against the Syrian people. We also discussed the latest developments in Yemen, and reviewed the overall developments and political situation in the Gulf region, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as their repercussions on the security and stability of the region and the world," Prince Saud said.[25]

Iran and Lebanon[edit]

Rather than military action on Iran, Saud Al Faisal called for tougher sanctions such as travel bans and further bank lending restrictions.[26] He has stated U.S. foreign policy has tilted more power for Iran.[27] He has compared the Iranian influence in Iraq with Iranian influence in Lebanon.[12] He commended positive developments by Iran such as its influence over Hezbollah to end street protests.[12]

In 2008, according to leaked diplomatic memos, he accused UN troops in Lebanon of doing nothing. He also expressed concerns over Iran's influence over Hezbollah.[28]

In early 2011, he expressed fear of the "dangerous" instability in Lebanon after the fall of the Hariri government. He also stated that Lebanon's ability to establish peaceful coexistence with so many different groups may be a significant loss in the Arab world if the nation failed in creating a government.[22]

Prince Saud meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 14 February 2008.

In May 2014 it was reported that Prince Saud had invited Iran’s foreign minister, Dr Mohammand Javad Zarif to visit Riyadh, breaking the ice in one of the most hostile relationships in the Middle East ahead of key talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna. Speaking to reporters in the Saudi capital, Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom was ready to host Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “anytime he sees fit” and indicated that Riyadh is willing to open negotiations with its nemesis on the many combustible issues dividing them.[29]

Other governmental activities[edit]

Starting in 1998 under the reign of King Fahd, Saud Al Faisal and then the Crown Prince Abdullah managed the energy sector through a committee of technocrats and princes.[30] More specifically, Prince Saud was appointed chairman of the Saudi Aramco's committee charged with the project assassment in September 1999.[31]

On 20 November 2009, King Abdullah appointed Prince Saud as the chairman of the influential supreme economic council of Saudi Arabia.[32][33] Prince Saud is also a member of the military service council.[34]

Influence[edit]

Saudi foreign policy is designed by the King, not by the foreign minister.[3] He has worked closely with King Khalid, King Fahd and King Abdullah.

Prince Saud was firmly anti-Soviet and is an Arab nationalist.[3] He was more resistant to Israeli proposals than King Fahd.[3] He lamented his legacy might be defined "by profound disappointment than by success". He regrets how his generation of leaders have failed to create a Palestinian state.[10] He encouraged Iraqis to defend their country's sovereignty.[35]

His relationship with King Fahd was strained.[3] He is one of King Abdullah's closest allies. He has led Saudi Arabia's efforts to redefine its international image after the September 11 attacks. He is mentioned as a candidate to Saudi Arabia's line of succession. However, he has recently suffered health deterioration. He does not hold majlis unlike other Saudi royals which has been cause for speculation that he is not interested in kingship.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Prince Saud is married to Jawhara bint Abdullah bin Abdulrahman, who is his cousin,[7] and has three sons and three daughters.[1][3][37] His daughter Haifa bint Saud is married to Prince Sultan bin Salman,[38] the first of Royal Blood and the first Arab astronaut. Prince Saud lives in Jeddah.[12] He has been described (by the British Ministry of Defence) as "tall, handsome, and articulate".[3] He is well regarded among the diplomatic community and reportedly is a warm man with a good sense of humour. Unlike other members of the Al Saud, he often speaks publicly and interacts a lot with reporters.[39] Prince Saud speaks excellent English. He likes to play tennis.[3]

Social roles[edit]

Prince Saud is closely involved in philanthropy. He is a founding member of the King Faisal Foundation and chairman of the board of directors for the King Faisal School and Al Faisal University in Riyadh. He is also a member of the Society for Disabled Children and the Madinah Society for Welfare and Social Services.[40]

Health[edit]

Prince Saud has Parkinson's disease and back pain.[39] He had surgery in California.[39] His physical appearance shows signs of health deterioration, especially difficulty standing upright.[39] On 11 August 2012, Saudi Royal Court stated that Prince Saud had another surgery to remove a "simple" blockage in the intestines due to adhesions resulting from previous surgery.[41] The operation was performed at the Specialist Hospital in Jeddah.[42] Prince Saud went to Los Angeles after he left the hospital on 6 September 2012. The ministry announced that he would stay there for a while.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Saudi Arabia King Fahd bin Abdulaziz. Int'l Business Publications. 1 January 2005. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7397-2740-9. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz". Saud Al Faisal. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Briefing". The Guardian. 25 September 1985. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Katrina. "America as Alma Mater", Saudi Aramco World, May/June 1979. Retrieved 27 January 2011. "Prince Sa'ud, the fourth son, also went to Hun School and Princeton."
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Saudi-European Relations: Towards a Reliable Partnership". European Policy Centre. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Luddington, Nick (5 April 1975). "King Faisal's eight sons". Lewiston Evening Journal (Jeddah). AP. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Bahgat Korany; Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (1 January 2010). The Foreign Policies of Arab States: The Challenge of Globalization. American Univ in Cairo Press. p. 369. ISBN 978-977-416-360-9. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "New Saudi Arabia King Picks Deputy Premiers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. UPI. 30 March 1975. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Slackman, Michael (17 December 2009). "A Legacy of Regret for a Saudi Diplomat". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Sick, Gary G. (Spring 1987). "Iran's Quest for Superpower Status". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d Oberwetter, James C. (24 February 2007). APHSCT Townsend February 6 meeting with foreign minister Prince Saud al Faisal. WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable:07RIYADH367. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Jiang, Wenran (11 July 2007). "China’s Growing Energy Relations". Chine Brief 12 (14): 12–15. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Authors: Prince Saud al-FaisalPeter G. Peterson. "The United States and Saudi Arabia: A Relationship Threatened By Misconceptions". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Iraq: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Saudi Arabia slams UN double standard". Coastal Digest. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Zweiri, Mahjoob (2006). "The Hamas Victory: shifting sands or major earthquake?". Third World Quarterly 27 (4): 675–687. doi:10.1080/01436590600720876. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Abramowitz, Michael, and Robin Wright. "Saudi Arabia Asks U.S. to Intervene in Lebanon." The Washington Post, 24 July 2006. 29 May 2011. [1].
  19. ^ Fraker, Ford (2 January 2008). "Saudi Foreign Minister on the situation in Pakistan". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable:08RIYADH7. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Scenesetter for special representative Ambassador Holbrooke's February 15–16 visit to Riyadh". WikiLeaks. 12 February 2010. WikiLeaks cable:10RIYADH182. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Prince Saud leads Saudi delegation to G-20 Summit". Saudi Embassy. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Saudis give up on Lebanon mediation talks". CNN. 19 January 2011. 
  23. ^ Matthew Rosenberg; Jay Solomon; Margaret Coker (27 May 2011). "Saudi Bid to Curb Iran Worries U.S.". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Saudi foreign minister says supporting Syrian opposition is a ‘duty’". Al Arabiya. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Arming Syrian opposition is a duty, says Prince Saud". Saudi Gazette. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  26. ^ Vilensky, Mike. "WikiLeaks: Saudi King Abdullah Encouraged U.S. to Attack Iran; Chinese Politburo Hacked Into Google – Daily Intel". NY Mag. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  27. ^ Smith, James (11 February 2010). Scenesetter for Secretary Clinton's Feb 15–16 visit to Saudi Arabia. WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable:10RIYADH178. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  28. ^ Saudi plan for anti-Hezbollah force revealed, AFP via YNet, 12 August 2010
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ Seznec, J. F. (October 2002). "Stirrings in Saudi Arabia". Journal of Democracy 13 (4): 33–40. doi:10.1353/jod.2002.0080. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  31. ^ David G. Victor; David R. Hults; Mark C. Thurber (8 December 2011). Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply. Cambridge University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-107-00442-9. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  32. ^ Clasmann, Anne-Beatrice (20 November 2009). "Discreetly, Saudis speculate about the throne succession". M&C News. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Royal Decree to add Prince Saud Al Faisal, Prince Mohammed bin Naif". Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Supreme Economic Council. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "Saudi Authority to monitor audiovisual media". MEFAFN. Arab News. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  35. ^ "No politics for Ben Ali in Kingdom". Arab News. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  36. ^ Henderson, Simon (22 July 1994). "After King Fahd" (Policy Paper). Washington Institute. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  37. ^ "About Ministry". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  38. ^ "Family Tree of Saud bin Faisal". Datarabia. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  39. ^ a b c d Henderson, Simon. "Foreign Policy: A Prince's Mysterious Disappearance". NPR. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  40. ^ "Saudi Arabia: HRH Prince Saud Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". American Bedu. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  41. ^ Anablawi, Sara (12 August 2012). "Saudi's foreign minister undergoes abdominal surgery". Arabian Business. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  42. ^ "King Visits Prince Saud Al Faisal". Saudi Press Agency. 19 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  43. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Foreign minister recovering from abdominal surgery in his Los Angeles home". The Washington Post. AP. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.