Saudi Arabia's "Reformer" King Abdullah Dies at 90; Successor Vows to Maintain His Policies

By Maria Slither - 23 Jan '15 11:30AM

The whole country of Saudi Arabia is in mourning upon the announcement of the death of its ruler, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, 90 on Thursday who died of lung infection after being confined in the hospital for weeks now, BBC reports.

A state-run television station officially broadcasted the news and had included Koranic verses only used in the announcement of a death of a member of the Royal family.

Following after his death is the announcement of a new king, his half-brother King Salman who is 79 years old this year.

In his speech, King Salman promised to continue what the late king has started.

"We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment.  We will never deviate from our constitution," King Salman said in a speech broadcasted all over the nation. '

King Salman also expressed his vows in his Twitter account saying, "I ask God to help me succeed in my service of the dear [Saudi] people."

Hours after the announcement, King Abdullah's body, wrapped in a simple, white cloth, is carried by dignitaries to Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque in Riyadh will be held, CNN said in their coverage.

Aside from the thousands of mourners who paid tribute to their king in Riyadh and Mecca, world leaders are also expected to show their sympathies for the King.

As of Friday, US President Barrack Obama expressed his condolences commending the late King's role in facilitating the Arab Peace Initiative which aims to reconcile Palestine and Israel.

"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," President Obama said.

The Daily Mail has also announced that Prince Charles will be visiting Saudi Arabia, on the Queen's behalf, to pay tribute to the late King.

Muslim leaders including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were also at the funeral.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, and Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah have also been spotted paying their tributes.

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