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First Saudi envoy to India dies at 105

Al-Mulhem, a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, was an unaccredited ambassador before India won freedom.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 10:25 IST

Saudi Arabia's first ambassador to India Sheikh Muhammad ibn Uthman Al-Mulhem, who was a close friend of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, has died.

He died of natural causes at the age of 105.

Al-Mulhem, a friend of the Mahatma, was an unaccredited ambassador before India won freedom. He was later officially made the ambassador.

With his relations with India spanning over a period of 65 years in his capacity as an envoy and a businessman, Al-Mulhem earned himself great respect in the Indian subcontinent and the Gulf region.

His house in New Delhi was known as a home away from home for all the Arabs, particularly Saudis, visiting India.

He founded the Ahsa-India Commercial Co, the first Saudi-owned business to operate in India.

Al-Mulhem is survived by 21 children and 109 grandchildren, Al-Jazirah daily reported.

First Published: May 10, 2006 10:08 IST