Saud bin Faisal Al Saud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saud bin Faisal Al Saud
Photograph of Saud bin Faisal aged 75
Saud bin Faisal in 2015
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
13 October 1975 – 29 April 2015
Prime Minister
PredecessorFaisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
SuccessorAdel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir
Born(1940-01-02)2 January 1940
Ta'if, Saudi Arabia
Died9 July 2015(2015-07-09) (aged 75)
Los Angeles, United States
SpousePrincess Jawhara bint Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman
  • Prince Mohammad
  • Prince Khaled
  • Prince Fahd
  • Princess Haifa
  • Princess Lana
  • Princess Reem
HouseAl Saud
FatherKing Faisal
MotherIffat bint Mohammad Al Thunayan
  • Politician
  • diplomat
  • businessman
Alma mater

Saud bin Faisal Al Saud (Arabic: سعود بن فيصل آل سعود, romanizedSuʿūd ibn Fayṣal Āl Suʿūd), also known as Saud Al Faisal (Arabic: سعود الفيصل, Suʿūd Āl Fayṣal; 2 January 1940 – 9 July 2015), was a Saudi Arabian statesman and diplomat who served as the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia from 1975 to 2015. A member of the Saudi royal family, he was the longest-serving foreign minister in world history.

Early life, education and early career[edit]

King Faisal, father of Saud

Saud bin Faisal was born in Taif on 2 January 1940.[1] He was the second son of King Faisal and Iffat Al-Thunayan who was born to a Turkish family.[2][3][4] He was the full brother of Sara bint Faisal, Mohammed bin Faisal, Latifa bint Faisal, Abdul Rahman bin Faisal, Bandar bin Faisal, Turki bin Faisal, Luluwah bint Faisal, Sara bint Faisal and Haifa bint Faisal.[5]

Prince Saud attended the Hun School of Princeton[6] and graduated from Princeton University in 1964 with a bachelor of arts in economics.[7][8] In 2007 he told Ford Fraker, then US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, that during his studies at Princeton he would like to leave the university and to return to the country.[9] However, his father, Faisal, came to the campus and persuaded him to complete his education.[9]

Following his return to Saudi Arabia Prince Saud became an economic consultant for the ministry of petroleum.[7] In 1966, he moved to general organization for petroleum and mineral resources, (Petromin).[7] In February 1970, he became deputy governor of Petromin for planning affairs.[7] He was also a member of the High Coordination Committee.[7] In 1971, he became deputy minister of petroleum.[7][10] Prince Saud served in this post at the oil ministry until 1975 when he was appointed as state minister for foreign affairs.[11] He replaced Omar Al Saqqaf in the post who had died in November 1974.[11]

Foreign Minister[edit]

On 13 October 1975, King Khalid appointed Prince Saud as foreign minister.[12] He was relieved from the post on 29 April 2015 due to health problems and was replaced by Adel al-Jubeir, a former Saudi ambassador to the United States.[13]


Prince Saud was well regarded in the diplomatic community.[14]

In 1978 and also in 1985 Prince Saud raised awareness in Britain of Soviet activity in the Horn of Africa.[3][15] In May 1985, he officially visited Iran and meetings were focused on the annual pilgrimage of Iranians to Mecca.[16] 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.

Prince Saud said in 2004 that Saudi Arabia would like to reduce its dependence on U.S.-dominated security arrangements.[17] 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".[18] In August 2007, he denied allegations that terrorists were travelling from Saudi Arabia to Iraq and claimed it was vice versa.[19][20]

Prince Saud speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in 1987

On 10 March 2006, he met with Hamas leaders in Riyadh.[21] In July 2006, he urged U.S. President George W. Bush to call for a ceasefire in the Lebanon bombing.[22] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] In November 2010, he led the Saudi delegation at the G-20 Summit.[23]

In January 2011, he withdrew out of mediation efforts to reinstate a government in Lebanon.[24] In March 2011, he went to Europe to rally support for Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain.[25]

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.[26] 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 Persian 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.[27]

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.[28] He stated that U.S. foreign policy has tilted more power for Iran. He compared the Iranian influence in Iraq with Iranian influence in Lebanon. He commended positive developments by Iran such as its influence over Hezbollah to end street protests.[citation needed]

In early 2011, he expressed fear of the "dangerous" instability in Lebanon after the fall of the government led by Saad Hariri. 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.[24]

Prince Saud (center), accompanied by Saudi officials and the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James B. Smith, walks to greet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 25 June 2013.

In May 2014 it was reported that Prince Saud had invited Iran's foreign minister Mohammad 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 Prince Saud said the kingdom was ready to host the Iranian Foreign Minister "anytime he sees fit" and indicated that Riyadh was 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 bin 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 assessment 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 was also a member of the military service council.[34]


Saudi foreign policy was designed by the King, not by the foreign minister.[3] Prince Saud worked closely with King Khalid, King Fahd and King Abdullah.

Prince Saud was firmly anti-Soviet and was an Arab nationalist.[3] When asked in 1979 if there was an alliance with the US regarding military cooperation, he stated that Saudi Arabia had no such alliance with the US, but with other Arab and Muslim countries.[35]

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 regretted how his generation of leaders failed to create a Palestinian state.[14] He encouraged Iraqis to defend their country's sovereignty.[36]

In the Saudi royal court, his relationship with King Fahd was strained,[3] but he was one of King Abdullah's closest allies.[37] He was among the Saudi officials who worked to improve Saudi Arabia's international image and maintain its strong relationship with the United States after the September 11 attacks.[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

Prince Saud in his early 20s

Prince Saud was married to his cousin Jawhara bint Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman,[8] and they have three sons and three daughters.[3][40] His sons are Mohammad, Khaled and Fahd, and his daughters are Haifa, Lana and Reem.[41] Haifa bint Saud is married to Prince Sultan bin Salman and is a professor of English literature working at King Saud University.[41]

Prince Saud lived in Jeddah.[citation needed] Unlike other members of the Al Saud, he often spoke publicly and interacted with reporters.[42] He spoke several languages, including English, Turkish,[43] Spanish, Hebrew, French, Italian and German.[14] He liked to play tennis.[3]

Business activities and properties[edit]

Prince Saud is one of the Saudi royals mentioned in Panama Papers due to his offshore accounts.[44] In the US, he had a house in Los Angeles's the Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood which he built in 1983.[45]

Social roles[edit]

Prince Saud involved in philanthropy. He was a founding member of the King Faisal Foundation and served as chairman of the board of directors for the King Faisal School and Al Faisal University in Riyadh. He was also a member of the Society for Disabled Children and the Madinah Society for Welfare and Social Services.[46]

Illness and death[edit]

Prince Saud suffered from Parkinson's disease and back pain.[42] He had surgery in the United States.[42] His physical appearance showed signs of health deterioration, especially difficulty standing upright.[42] On 11 August 2012, he had another surgery to remove a "simple" blockage in the intestines due to adhesions resulting from previous surgery.[47] The operation was performed at the Specialist Hospital in Jeddah.[48] 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.[49] On 25 January 2015, Prince Saud had a successful spine surgery in the U.S.[50] In March 2015 he was photographed using a walking frame.[51] With age, Saud faced many health problems, suffering from chronic back pain and having had various surgeries.[52]

Prince Saud died on 9 July 2015 at the age of 75 in Los Angeles.[53][54] His funeral prayer was held in Grand Mosque in Mecca on 12 July 2015, and he was buried in Al Adl cemetery.[55][56]


Foreign honour[edit]



  1. ^ "Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz". Saud Al Faisal. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  2. ^ Steve Coll (2008). The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. New York: Penguin Publishing Group. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-101-20272-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Briefing" (PDF). The Guardian. 25 September 1985. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ Winberg Chai, ed. (2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. Indianapolis, IN: University of Indianapolis Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4.
  5. ^ Bahgat Korany; Moataz A. Fattah (2010). "Irreconcilable Role Partners? Saudi Foreign Policy between the Ulama and the US". In Bahgat Korany; Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (eds.). The Foreign Policies of Arab States: The Challenge of Globalization. Cairo; New York: American University in Cairo Press. p. 369. ISBN 978-977-416-360-9.
  6. ^ Katrina Thomas (May–June 1979). "America as Alma Mater". Aramco World. Vol. 30, no. 3. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Saudi-European Relations: Towards a Reliable Partnership" (PDF). European Policy Centre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b Nick Luddington (5 April 1975). "King Faisal's eight sons". Lewiston Evening Journal. Jeddah. AP. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b Ford Fraker (29 December 2015). "Remembering Prince Saud Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz". Politico. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ Energy Crisis, 1969-1974. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2001. p. 856. ISBN 978-0-16-080652-0.
  11. ^ a b "New Saudi Arabia King Picks Deputy Premiers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. UPI. 30 March 1975. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  12. ^ Saud Al Faisal
  13. ^ "Saudi king replaces crown prince in cabinet reshuffle". Al Jazeera. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Michael Slackman (17 December 2009). "A Legacy of Regret for a Saudi Diplomat". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Nawaf Ahmed Al Madkhli (2007). Saudi Arabia's foreign policy during King Khalid's reign, 1975–1982 (PhD thesis). University of Arkansas. ProQuest 304896248.
  16. ^ Gary G. Sick (Spring 1987). "Iran's Quest for Superpower Status". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  17. ^ Wenran Jiang (11 July 2007). "China's Growing Energy Relations" (PDF). China Brief. 12 (14): 12–15.
  18. ^ Saud Al Faisal; Peter G. Peterson. "The United States and Saudi Arabia: A Relationship Threatened by Misconceptions". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  19. ^ "Iraq: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  20. ^ "Saudi Arabia slams UN double standard". Coastal Digest. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  21. ^ Mahjoob Zweiri (2006). "The Hamas Victory: shifting sands or major earthquake?". Third World Quarterly. 27 (4): 675–687. doi:10.1080/01436590600720876. S2CID 153346639.
  22. ^ Michael Abramowitz and Robin Wright. (24 July 2006). Saudi Arabia Asks U.S. to Intervene in Lebanon. The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  23. ^ "Prince Saud leads Saudi delegation to G-20 Summit". Saudi Embassy. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  24. ^ a b "Saudis give up on Lebanon mediation talks". CNN. 19 January 2011.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Saudi foreign minister says supporting Syrian opposition is a 'duty'". Al Arabiya. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  27. ^ "Arming Syrian opposition is a duty, says Prince Saud". Saudi Gazette. 1 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  28. ^ Mike Vilensky (28 November 2010). "WikiLeaks: Saudi King Abdullah Encouraged U.S. to Attack Iran; Chinese Politburo Hacked Into Google – Daily Intel". NY Mag. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  29. ^ "In thaw, Saudi Arabia extends invitation to Iran". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  30. ^ J. F. Seznec (October 2002). "Stirrings in Saudi Arabia". Journal of Democracy. 13 (4): 33–40. doi:10.1353/jod.2002.0080. S2CID 144333876.
  31. ^ Paul Stevens (2011). "Saudi Aramco: The Jewel in the Crown". In David G. Victor; David R. Hults; Mark C. Thurber (eds.). Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-107-00442-9.
  32. ^ Anne-Beatrice Clasmann (20 November 2009). "Discreetly, Saudis speculate about the throne succession". M&C News. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. 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. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  34. ^ "Saudi Authority to monitor audiovisual media". MEFAFN. Arab News. 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  35. ^ Victor McFarland (July 2020). Oil Powers. A History of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance. New York; Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press. p. 4. doi:10.7312/mcfa19726. ISBN 9780231197267. S2CID 242347150.
  36. ^ "No politics for Ben Ali in Kingdom". Arab News. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  37. ^ Angus MacDowall (29 April 2015). "Newsmaker-Saudi veteran foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal". Reuters. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  38. ^ "Saudi Arabia's veteran foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal dies". Al-Araby. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  39. ^ Paul Aarts and Gerd Nonneman. (Eds.). (2006). Saudi Arabia in the Balance: Political Economy, Society, Foreign Affairs
  40. ^ "About Ministry". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  41. ^ a b Joseph A. Kéchichian (2014). 'Iffat Al Thunayan: An Arabian Queen. Sussex Academic Press. p. 50,76. ISBN 9781845196851.
  42. ^ a b c d Simon Henderson. "Foreign Policy: A Prince's Mysterious Disappearance". NPR. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  43. ^ Robert Olson (Summer 2008). "Turkey's Relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council from 2003 to 2007: New Paradigms?". Mediterranean Quarterly. 19 (3): 77. doi:10.1215/10474552-2008-014. S2CID 154819914.
  44. ^ "Mr. Saud Al Faisal". Offshore Leaks Database. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  45. ^ "Chris Hardwick sold his house to Princess Reem Al Faisal". Dirt. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  46. ^ "Saudi Arabia: HRH Prince Saud Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". American Bedu. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  47. ^ Sara Anablawi (12 August 2012). "Saudi's foreign minister undergoes abdominal surgery". Arabian Business. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  48. ^ "King Visits Prince Saud Al Faisal". Saudi Press Agency. 19 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  49. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Foreign minister recovering from abdominal surgery in his Los Angeles home". The Washington Post. AP. 10 September 2012. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  50. ^ "الديوان الملكي: نجاح عملية أجراها سعود الفيصل". Al Arabiya. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  51. ^ "Saudi FM urges coalition to face ISIS challenge on the ground". The Daily Star. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  52. ^ "Former Saudi FM Prince Saud Al Faisal dies". Al Jazeera. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  53. ^ Omran, Ahmed Al (9 July 2015). "Former Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal Dies". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  54. ^ "Breaking: Saudi ex-Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal dead at 75". Gulf News. Reuters, AFP. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  55. ^ "UAE Rulers attend funeral of Prince Saud Al Faisal". The National. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  56. ^ "Teary farewell to Prince Saud". Susris. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  57. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".
  58. ^ "Real Decreto 1527/1977, de 31 de mayo, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica a Su Alteza Real Saud Ben Faisal" (in Spanish). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 2 July 1977. p. 14894. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  59. ^ Boletín Oficial del Esfado

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Saudi Arabian Special Envoy