After suffering from frequent states of ill health in recent years, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died at the age of 90, royal officials have announced. King Abdullah, who had ruled the kingdom since 2005, had been suffering from severe lung infection which inevitably became life-threatening.
State television announced that His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1 a.m. this morning, said the statement carried by state television.
Though since his passing, everything has moved rather swiftly, enabling the government to contain this chaotic and mournful happening, putting everything back into its place with his successor in top priority.
His successor? King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Abdullah’s half-brother. Luckily, within hours of his accession to the throne of the oil-rich kingdom, Salman promised to maintain the same policies as his predecessors
We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment
World leaders around the world took the time to express their deepest condolences, including Barack Obama who saluted the late king’s commitment to close U.S.-Saudi ties. In a statement, Obama said:
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.
Abdullah pulled off plenty of progressive changes in the Islamic Kingdom, including increased women’s rights and economic deregulation, though he made no moves towards a greater democracy and representation. As the new Saudi king takes over the leadership in what is perceived as one of the world’s most powerful nations, it’s going to be a fun ride to see what changes will follow in these “oil-chaotic” times.
Photo Credit: AFP