Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dies at 90
Mourners gathered in Mecca early Friday just hours after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud died. He was 90.
Abdullah, who had ruled since 2005 and had been suffering from a lung infection.
The announcement of Abdullah’s death comes several weeks after the state-run Saudi Press Agency said he was suffering from pneumonia and had been admitted to the hospital.
Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz was appointed as the new king, state television reported.
King Salman spent 48 years as governor of Riyadh Province before becoming crown prince and defence minister.
US President Barack Obama expressed his personal sympathies, and those of the American people, on Abdullah’s death.
“As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. 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,” he said.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Abdullah would be remembered for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths”.
The price of a barrel of Brent Crude jumped as much as 2.5% to $49.73 (£33.20) after the king’s death was announced at around 11pm last night. It had climbed above $50 earlier in the day, before plunging to $48 after ECB president Mario Draghi unveiled quantitative easing (QE).