The heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, died in a New York hospital early Saturday, officials said, raising succession questions in the key oil-producing country at a time of regional turmoil, CNN informs. Sultan, the half-brother of King Abdullah, was thought to be in his 80s. He had been ill for some time – various reports indicated that he was battling cancer – and was receiving treatment in New York. Sultan’s body will be flown back to Saudi Arabia and a burial is scheduled for Tuesday. He had served for decades as the Saudi defense minister. President Barack Obama called him a “valued friend” of the United States. Robert Jordan, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, called Sultan a “staunch ally.”
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