Islamabad, 90 year old Saudi King Abdullah died on early Friday while 79 year old Salman has taken over as New King, reports state run Saudi television. King died of pneumonia in Royal hospital.
Journalists outside Saudi Arabia believe that King Abduallah was died last week “Medically” but doctors kept him on ventilators unless Royal family decided new crown Prince. New King Salman immediately announced appointment of his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.
State run television reported that King Abdullah, who was running the Kingdom since 2005 after the death of his brother King Fahd died of pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital on December 31.
Meanwhile official statement issued by the King Palace said:
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died in hospital while undergoing treatment for pneumonia and Crown Prince Salman is the new king. “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 on Saudi Arabian state TV channel attributed to Salman.
New King Salman has immediately appointed his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.
RT Russia reported that Saudi Arabia became a strong political player at global level under late king Abdullah who supported the western fight against Al-Qaeda and maintained attempts to keep rival Shia Iran in check. Under his rule, Saudi Arabia strongly backed Syrian rebels trying to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The monarch had also been the first international head of state to congratulate the interim government of Egypt after the July 2013 military coup deposed Mohamed Morsi.