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King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah dies

The King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died on January 23 after being sick with pneumonia for weeks.share with twitter

The reports about the death of the ailing king had surfaced in previous weeks but were immediately denied by the Saudi officials. His death in a Riyadh hospital today was announced through the state-owned TV.

The ruler of the Saudi crown was at the of 90. share with googleHe was reportedly hospitalized on December 31 with pneumonia. King Abdullah formally took over in 2005 when his brother Fahd bin Abdulaziz died, although he ran the Saudi government since 1995 when King Fahd’s health deteriorated.
Salman was King Abdullah’s representative and served as Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister.

King Abdullah was supposed to be succeeded by his half-brother Crown Prince Sultan but he died in October 2011, making the next heir in line Prince Sultan’s full brother Nayef the primary candidate. But Nayef, too, died in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2012 while undergoing serious but undisclosed treatment. The third heir apparent is King Abdullah’s half-brother Salman who was named as Crown Prince on June 18, 2012 and will succeed him now.

Following the news on King Abdullah’s death, the White House released President Obama’s statement:

“It is with deep respect that I express my personal condolences and the sympathies of the American people to the family of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and to the people of Saudi Arabia.

King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations.  He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region.  At home, King Abdullah’s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world.

As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship.  As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.  One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.  The closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah’s legacy.

May God grant him peace.”

Saudi Arabia is considered a close ally of the United States in the region. It is also a major economic partner to Washington.

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