According to Saudi Arabia’s royal officials and BBC reports, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, 90 died on Friday, following weeks of admission in a hospital for lung infection. King Abdullah, who ascended to the throne in old age is internationally revered as a reformer who sponsored the Arab Peace Initiative in an attempt to solve the conflict between Israel and Palestine. His 79-year-old half-brother, Salman, has now been confirmed as the new king.
Shortly after King Salman ascended the throne of the oil-rich kingdom, he vowed to thread in the same path as his predecessors. “We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,“ King Salman said in a state Television broadcast.
Saudi Arabia is one of the United States allies and it was no surprise that United States President, Barrack Obama was quite saddened with the death of King Abdullah. “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,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.
President Obama continues: “This is a sad day. The United States has lost a friend, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world has lost a revered leader,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “He was so proud of the Kingdom’s journey, a brave partner in fighting violent extremism who proved just as important as a proponent of peace.”