The King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died.
King Abdullah was suffering from lung cancer and a report in April 2014 stated that the King had just six months left to live. He was hospitalized on Jan 2nd, 2015 for pneumonia and died early today (Jan 23rd, 2015).
“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’s brother Salman has taken over the throne. King Salman has also named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.
President Barack Obama expressed condolences and saluted the late king’s commitment to close US-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 U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”
President George H. W. Bush who sent an American army to Saudi Arabia to help repel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1990-91, described Abdullah as “a wise and reliable ally, helping our nations build on a strategic relationship” in a statement.