Lebanese Leaders Mourn Death of Saudi Crown Princeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanese leaders mourned on Saturday the death of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz who died after a battle with illness.
President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri expressed their condolences to Saudi King Abdullah and the Saudi people.
Prime Minister Najib Miqati offered his condolences to the Saudi monarch over the loss of Prince Nayef.
“With the absence of Prince Nayef the Saudi kingdom and the Arab and Islamic nation lost a pioneer known for his brave and wise stances,” a statement issued by the premiership said.
Miqati, who will travel on Sunday to Saudi to attend the funeral, noted that Lebanon lost a “brother and a friend” who never hesitated in standing by Lebanon during the times crises.
Prince Nayef, a long-serving interior minister, "died outside" Saudi Arabia having recently left the Gulf state for medical treatment.
His funeral would be held on Sunday after sunset prayers in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia, after his body is repatriated.
The 79-year-old's death, just eight months after he replaced his late brother crown prince Sultan, 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.
For his part, Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani mourned the death of Prince Nayef, calling on all mosques in Lebanon to hold the Prayer of the Departed for Nayef.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri sent a cable to the Saudi King offering his condolences.
He described prince Nayef as a man with an “exceptional personality who dedicated his life to defend the causes of the Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic world.”
“Late Prince Nayef was known for his humility and humanity and this was experienced by the Saudi people,” Hariri pointed out.
“We in Lebanon, feel this great loss and the absence of a man who loved our country and contributed to supporting its legitimate institutions, and worked with the Saudi leadership to help our people in the most difficult times,” he added.
Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel praised the late Saudi prince for fortifying the Lebanese-Saudi bilateral relations.
He noted that Nayef “played a major role in structuring the Saudi policies and fortifying its presence international and in the Arab World.”
Condolences will be accepted for three successive days starting Monday at Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Downtown Beirut from 5p.m. till 8 p.m., the Saudi embassy in Lebanon said in a statement.