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King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia died

BEIRUT |, with agencies - January 23, 2015, 08h30
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died on Friday at 1:am (Riyadh time), the royal palace announced in an official statement today.
The King, 90, was admitted to hospital in December suffering from pneumonia.

Saudi TV announced Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 79, is now officially the new Saudi king and Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz is the new crown prince.

In a written statement, US President Barack Obama. "As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah's perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship.

US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that in King Abdallah’s death, US lost a man of wisdom and vision. Saudi Arabia was a srong ally of the US policy in the Arab region.

Former Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a close ally from Saudi Arabia, issued a long statement on Friday morning, saying that "with the passing of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, God bless his soul, the Arab and Islamic nation lost a brilliant leader and an exceptional figure, who marked the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region with great achievements and initiatives that will remain a benchmark for political interaction, economic progress and social growth for the Kingdom and its Arab surrounding".

Al Jazeera reported that, at stake with the appointment of Salman as king is the future direction of the United States' most important Arab ally and self-appointed champion of Sunni Islam at a moment of unprecedented turmoil across the Middle East.

Most recently the kingdom joined the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.

Abdullah played a guiding role in Saudi Arabia's support for Egypt's government after the military intervened in 2013, and drove his country's support for Syria's rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

King Salman has been crown prince since 2012 and has been heading the defence ministry since 2011. He was governor of Riyadh province for five decades before that.
#King_Abdallah, #Saudi_Arabia
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