Saudi crown prince expires in a US hospital

In wake of a time of unrest in the Arab world, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz has died, the royal palace announced on Saturday.

His brother Prince Nayef succeeded King Abdullah. Aged around 86, the crown prince served as the oil kingpin’s defence minister for fifty years, but had been in the United States since mid-June for medical treatment, and was operated on in July.

A half-brother of King Abdullah, Sultan had spent long periods abroad for undisclosed medical treatment.

A Western diplomat, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said Prince Sultan had been hooked up to life support systems at New York Presbyterian hospital and was declared ‘clinically dead’ more than a month ago. Condolences flooded into the kingdom from world leaders as news of the prince’s death was confirmed.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, speaking on a trip to the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, said the prince would be ‘missed,’ stressing Washington’s enduring ties with the oil-rich Gulf state.

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