Saturday, October 22, 2011
Saudi Arabian crown prince dies
Saudi Arabian crown prince dies at New York hospital
CNN Wire Staff
October 22, 2011 -- Updated 0731 GMT (1531 HKT)
This November 10, 1999 file photo shows Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz leaving the Elysee Palace in Paris, France.
Arrangements are under way to transport his body back to Saudi Arabia
Crown Prince Sultan was Saudi Arabia's minister of defense
In 2009, he had surgery for an undisclosed illness
The country's royal court says he died "outside the kingdom following an illness"
-- Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud died at a New York hospital, kingdom officials said Saturday.
No other details about his death were immediately available, but arrangements are under way to transport his body back to Saudi Arabia, officials said.
Crown Prince Sultan, thought to be in his 80s, was Saudi Arabia's minister of defense, and was one of the top figures in the Saudi kingdom. He's had various medical issues in recent years.
In 2009, he was in New York for surgery for an undisclosed illness and had also flown to Morocco for medical treatment over the years.
The country's royal court released a statement about the death Saturday.
"King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud mourns the death of his brother and his Crown Prince ... Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud," the statement said.
The statement also said he died "outside the kingdom following an illness," but did not release details on the ailment.
Reports in recent years have indicated that Crown Prince Sultan was battling cancer.
King Abdullah's half-brother was the desert kingdom's defense minister for decades, meeting regularly with visiting dignitaries.
He took a leading role in Saudi Arabia's involvement in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, heading a coalition of about half a million troops from more than 30 countries.
Of his many children, perhaps the best known internationally is Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to the United States.
Prince Bandar served as ambassador from 1983 to 2005 and was friends with the family of President George W. Bush.
CNN's Jamie Crawford, Mohammed Jamjoom and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.
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