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Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was the heir to the Saudi throne. He died while undergoing treatment for illness in New York. He was the younger half brother of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who has also been ailing after he underwent back surgery last week.
The death of the prince now opens questions about the succession in the critical, oil rich nation which has been a close Washington ally against Al Qaeda.
The White House Press release is as follows:
Statement by the President on the Death of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
"It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. For decades, Crown Prince Nayif served as Minister of the Interior and dedicated himself to the security of Saudi Arabia as well as security throughout the region. Under his leadership, the United States and Saudi Arabia developed a strong and effective partnership in the fight against terrorism, one that has saved countless American and Saudi lives. Crown Prince Nayif also strongly supported the broader partnership between our two countries begun by his late father, King Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, and President Roosevelt in their historic meeting in 1945. On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to King Abdullah, the royal family, and the people of Saudi Arabia."
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