RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died at age of 90 early on Friday and his brother Salman became king.
Shah Abdullah who took power in 2005 after the death of his brother King Fahd, died of pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital on December 31, local media reported.
King Salman immediately took charge as a King, as he has been named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir,
“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.
Abdullah was born in 1924, had ruled Saudi Arabia as king since 2005, but had run the country.
President Barack Obama expressed condolences and saluted the late king’s commitment to close U.S.-Saudi ties.
“As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions,” Obama said in a statement. “One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the US-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”