Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will head a US delegation to offer condolences over the death of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the White House announced Tuesday.
Among the past and present US security officials representing the United States when they pay their respects Wednesday on the death of the prince, are James Smith, US ambassador to Saudi Arabia; John Brennan, top White House official for homeland security; and FBI director Robert Mueller.
He died on Saturday only eight months after becoming heir apparent after the death of his brother crown prince Sultan at the age of 86. His half-brother Prince Salman, 76, has been named the kingdom's new crown prince.
King Abdullah had in 2009 appointed Nayef, the long-serving interior minister, as second deputy prime minister, a position he kept vacant since his accession to the throne in 2005.
Nayef, who spearheaded Saudi Arabia's clampdown on Al-Qaeda following a wave of attacks in the conservative kingdom between 2003 and 2006, became heir last October.
Source: AFP American Edition