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Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud

Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud
فيصل بن فرحان آل سعود
Prince Faisal in 2023
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
23 October 2019
MonarchSalman
Prime Minister
Preceded byIbrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf
Saudi Ambassador to Germany [de]
In office
27 March 2019 – October 2019
MonarchSalman
Preceded byKhalid bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud
Succeeded byEssam Ibrahim Baitalmal
Personal details
Born (1974-11-01) 1 November 1974 (age 49)
Frankfurt, West Germany
RelativesHouse of Saud
Alma materKing Saud University

Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah bin Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (Arabic: فيصل بن فرحان آل سعود, DMG Faiṣal b. Farḥān Āl Saʿūd; born 1 November 1974) is a Saudi Arabian diplomat, politician and a member of the House of Saud. Prince Faisal has also served as the Saudi ambassador to Germany since 27 March 2019 until his appointment as the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. He is currently serving as the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia since 23 October 2019, when he was appointed to that position by a royal decree issued by King Salman.[1] Prince Faisal was born in Frankfurt, West Germany and spent a part of his childhood and young adulthood in that country, which is why he speaks fluent German according to German news media.[2]

Early life and political career

Prince Faisal is a member of the Saudi royal family. A son of Prince Farhan bin Abdullah Al Saud, he was born on 1 November 1974 in West Germany and was educated in the US.[3][4] He studied business administration at King Saud University.[5] He served as an adviser at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in the US from 2017 to 2019.[3]

Faisal has held senior positions in Saudi and international companies, primarily the aerospace and weapons sector. He was, until at least his appointment as ambassador to Germany, a director of the arms company Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI). He then worked for the Saudi ambassador to the United States.[6]

As an expert on the defense industry, he also chaired a US-Saudi joint venture with the aerospace company Boeing.[7] Prince Faisal also served as an adviser to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia.[3][4]

Faisal meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Bari, Italy, in June 2021

In November 2017, Saudi Arabia withdrew its then ambassador to Germany, Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, in protest of a statement made by Sigmar Gabriel, the German Foreign Minister at that time. Gabriel had clearly criticized the active influence of the kingdom on the political-power constellation in Lebanon. After nearly a year of diplomatic crisis and vacancy of the ambassador position, Saudi Arabia sent its ambassador back to Berlin, but he was replaced by Faisal bin Farhan on 27 March 2019.[3]

Faisal with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during the G20 Summit in Rome, 30 October 2021

Saudi dissidents living in Germany were not pleased with the appointment of Faisal. The dissident Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud, a distant relative of the new ambassador, feared that the diplomat could also pressure opposition representatives. He told Deutsche Welle that he did not rule out that Faisal bin Farhan had been sent to Germany to persecute Saudi dissidents living in the country. Faisal has a good relationship with the kingdom's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.[8]

Faisal with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 26 February 2023

On 23 October 2019, he was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.[1][9]

On 19 August 2020, Foreign Minister Faisal said the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates could be seen as positive, but Saudi Arabia would not normalize relations until peace is signed with the Palestinians, hopefully within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative.[10]

Faisal and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian after signing a joint statement on the restoration of diplomatic relations, with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in the background, 6 April 2023

Since April 2021, Iraq has hosted five rounds of direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which cut diplomatic ties in 2016. The 6th round of talks on a ministerial level stalled, but after a meeting in Amman, Jordan, in December 2022, Faisal and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian signaled that both countries would be "open to more dialogue".[11] In January 2023, Faisal speaking at a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos reiterated that "Riyadh is trying to find a dialog with Iran".[12] The two countries announced the resumption of relations on 10 March 2023, following a deal brokered by China.[13] It could lead the way to easing of the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict, thus bringing stability to Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain.[14]

In June 2023, Faisal took part in a BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cape Town chaired by South Africa.[15] He met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was also in Cape Town.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Saudi royal decree appoints Prince Faisal bin Farhan as new foreign minister". english.alarabiya.net. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  2. ^ Krüger, Paul-Anton. "Saudi-Arabien: Faisal bin Farhan wird Außenminister". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ambassadors in Germany". diplomatisches-magazin.de. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Germany presents his credentials". english.alarabiya.net. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia's new foreign minister: Businessman turned diplomat". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  6. ^ "H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Young Saudi prince with Western experience named foreign minister". Reuters. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Diskussion um Riads neuen Botschafter". Deutsche Welle (in German). 12 February 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Vertretungen Saudi-Arabiens in Deutschland" (in German). Auswärtiges Amt. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  10. ^ Jordans, Frank; Batrawy, Aya (19 August 2020). "Saudi Arabia Cautiously Welcomes UAE, Israel Normalization". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press.
  11. ^ Motamedi, Maziar (21 December 2022). "Saudi Arabia wants dialogue after Jordan meeting: Iran minister". Al Jazeera.
  12. ^ "Davos 2023: Saudi FM says Riyadh trying to find path to dialogue with Iran" Reuters. 17 January 2023.
  13. ^ Gans, Jared (11 March 2023). "Five things to know about the Iran-Saudi deal brokered by China". The Hill.
  14. ^ Bishara, Marwan (12 March 2023). "The Saudi-Iran détente and its regional implications". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  15. ^ "BRICS open to enlargement in call for 'multipolar' world". Deutsche Welle. 1 June 2023.
  16. ^ "Russian minister attends meeting of developing economies as bloc discusses adding Saudi Arabia, Iran". Associated Press. 1 June 2023.
Political offices Preceded byIbrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf Minister of Foreign Affairs 2019–present Preceded byKhalid bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud Saudi ambassador to Germany 2019–2019 Succeeded byEssam Ibrahim Baitalmal
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Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud
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