File - A picture taken on March 26, 2014 shows Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal attending the closing session of the 25th Arab League summit at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT
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The world's longest serving foreign minister, Saudi Arabia's Prince Saud al-Faisal, was replaced Wednesday after 40 years representing the conservative Islamic kingdom, as Riyadh faces a period of unprecedented regional crisis.Although foreign policy in the monarchy is ultimately determined by the king, Prince Saud has played an important role in shaping the country's response to the many crises affecting the Middle East.His successor, former Washington Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, will inherit a heavy workload that has represented situation normal for a Saudi foreign minister since Prince Saud was appointed in October 1975 . Prince Saud, a son of King Faisal, was born in 1940 in the mountain city of Taif near Mecca where, in 1989, he helped Saudi Arabia negotiate the agreement that ended Lebanon's 15-year Civil War.However, despite that complicated history, Prince Saud publicly argued against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, presciently fearing a chaotic aftermath that could destabilize the region.In a sprawling ruling clan prone to clique-building, Prince Saud proved one of the closest allies of the late King Abdullah.
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