London, Asharq Al-Awsat — The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at Riyadh Airbase yesterday ,the body of late Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General. The Crown Prince’s body was flown by private plane from New York, accompanied by Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz and other high-ranking officials.
At Riyadh Airbase, the body was received by hundreds of people including princes, sheikhs, ministers, senior civil and military officials and citizens.
King Abdullah directed that funeral prayer in absentia be performed after afternoon regular prayers on Tuesday for the soul of late Crown Prince Sultan.
The prayer will be performed in all mosques throughout the Kingdom, according to the directive.
A large number of world leaders, royals and officials are expected to arrive in Riyadh to pay their condolences including US Vice President Joe Biden, Prince Charles, Sudan’s President Omar Bashir, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Crown Prince of Spain, Felipe de Borbon, Japan’s Prince Naruhito, and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, received condolences on the death of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz from across the Arab and Islamic world.
President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan extended his heartfelt condolences to Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, saying that the Crown Prince had led a full life dedicated to serving his country, and the Arab and Islamic nation. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also announced three days of mourning.
Whilst former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri hailed Prine Sultan as “a model of successful leadership…and a symbol of virtue and kindness for his country and homeland” adding that “with the loss of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Lebanese people will miss a dear brother and a loyal friend who backed Lebanon during the most difficult circumstances.”
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman sent a personal letter of condolence to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, hailing Crown Prince Sultan as a “friend of Lebanon.” He said “on this painful occasion, which has undoubtedly left a sense of loss and sorrow in your heart and the hearts of the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia, I offer, in my name and on behalf of the Lebanese people, heartfelt condolences [on the death of Crown Prince Sultan], imploring God to grand him mercy and paradise.”
Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah also paid tribute to Saudi Crown Prince Sultan, saying that Kuwait had lost a brother who had “a bright hand in charity and humanitarian work.” Kuwait said that it would mark the passing of the Saudi Crown Prince with three days of official mourning.
The Saudi Shura Council described the Crown Prince as “the man of the century” saying he had contributed to the development of Saudi Arabia in several fields. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Shura Council said “Prince Sultan remained a symbol of true statesmanship, greatness, and benevolence.”
Whilst Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah al-Sheikh sent a message of condolence to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, and prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the late prince mercy, forgiveness, and reward him for his devoted service to Islam, the Islamic Ummah, and his homeland.
The death of Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz was mourned across the world, with
almost 2 million people searching “Google” for news about the Crown Prince’s death, whilst international and Arab media have continued to cover this news, as his body is set to be laid to rest later on today.
US President Barack Obama said “as minister of defense and aviation for almost 50 years, Crown Prince Sultan dedicated himself to the welfare and security of his people and country and was a valued friend of the United States” adding “on behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to King Abdullah, the royal family, and the people of Saudi Arabia.”