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US has lost key security ally in Saudi crown prince: Obama

79-year-old crown prince died,8 months after he replaced his late brother,crown prince Sultan.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: June 17, 2012 10:24:24 am

President Barack Obama offered his condolences after the death of Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz,saying the United States had lost an ally in the fight against terror.

“It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia,” Obama said in a White House statement.

“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,” he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Nayef as having been devoted to the “fight against extremism” and was “a key and valued partner for the United States”.

On behalf of the American people Obama offered his “deepest condolences” to King Abdullah,the royal family and the Saudi people.

The 79-year-old crown prince died on Saturday,just eight months after he replaced his late brother,crown prince Sultan.

His death raises the issue of succession because of the advanced age of the first line of apparent heirs,at a time of turmoil rocking the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is 88 and ailing,and nobody is officially in line to replace Nayef.

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