Saudis bury world's longest serving foreign minister

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal (right) stands next to the coffin as it is unloaded from a plane upon arrival in Jeddah, a few hours before the funeral.
Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal (right) stands next to the coffin as it is unloaded from a plane upon arrival in Jeddah, a few hours before the funeral. AFP

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal, formerly the world's longest-serving foreign minister who oversaw four decades of turbulent diplomacy for the oil-rich kingdom, was buried on Saturday.

His funeral was held after evening prayers in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in the presence of regional dignitaries led by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Jaber al-Sabah.

Prince Saud's body was flown home from the United States on Saturday afternoon.

A statement from the royal court on Thursday said Prince Saud, who was born in 1940, had died in the United States, without giving the cause of death.

Prince Saud was one of the highest profile members of the kingdom's ruling elite before stepping down in April for health reasons.

He oversaw Saudi Arabia's emergence as a major diplomatic player, facing successive regional crises and maintaining a focus on relations with the West.