Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday received a telephone call from US President Barack Obama, who conveyed his condolences on the death of Prince Naif. The two leaders also discussed major regional and international issues.
Obama also sent a high-level US delegation led by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to the Kingdom to offer condolences. The delegation included James Smith, US ambassador to Saudi Arabia; John Brennan, top White House official for Homeland Security; and FBI director Robert Mueller.
Prince Naif, 78, who was the Kingdom’s crown prince, deputy premier and minister of interior, died on Saturday in Geneva following an illness. His articlebody was buried in Makkah after funeral prayers at the Grand Mosque.
In a statement, Panetta paid tribute to Prince Naif for working "tirelessly for the protection of the Kingdom and the Saudi people" over nearly four decades as interior minister.
"His visionary leadership and courage were instrumental to the gains we have made together against terrorism and extremism, and helped save Saudi and American lives," Panetta said.
"Prince Naif played a pivotal role in strengthening the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he said.
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