Wanderlust…

The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan Dies

Posted by vmsalama on October 23, 2011

By Glen Carey and Vivian Salama

Oct. 23, 2011

Bloomberg – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died, setting in motion succession plans for the world’s largest oil exporter.

Prince Nayef, born in 1934, is the most likely candidate for the crown prince position. King Abdullah, who is 87, underwent surgery earlier this month to relieve back pain after traveling to the U.S. in November for three months of medical care.

Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

The Saudis will want to convey a “message of continuity in terms of their economic policies, and reiterate their commitment to oil market stability at a time of global uncertainty and OPEC divisions,” Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank, said in a telephone interview. “There are certain policies that they have agreed on over the last few years and months, and they won’t change this.”

Saudi Arabia increased oil supply to help meet rising demand after exports from Libya collapsed during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi. The kingdom failed in June to reach an agreement with other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost production quotas. It also announced $130 billion in social and housing spending after popular movements toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year.

Koran Verses

Saudi state television announced the death of Sultan, who is also minister of defense and aviation, then began playing verses from the Koran, as is the custom. The prince was born in Riyadh in 1928, according to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, and was heir apparent to the throne. He will be buried in an unmarked grave, as stipulated by the Sunni Wahabbi version of Islam.

Sultan died “outside the kingdom after suffering an illness,” the Royal Court said in a statement posted on the official Saudi Press Agency website. “Prayer will be held at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh after Asr prayer on Tuesday.”  (Click here to read more…)

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