Middle East News

Abdullah Dies At 90, Prince Salman Now King, Oil Prices Surge

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is dead at the age of 90 and his successor, Prince Salman, has taken on his responsibilities as King, Saudi state TV indicated in an announcement which was read by a presenter.

The Saudi state TV announcement indicated that the late king had died Friday, after midnight. Bloomberg specified the time of death in a report which indicated that the Saudi royal court had said in a statement that the king had died at 1 a.m. in Riyadh.

President Obama expressed his condolences in a written statement which was issued shortly after the late king’s death.

I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. 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 U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.

Abdullah, who had more than 30 children from around a dozen different wives, told the United States in 2008 to consider exercising military action in order to “cut off the head of the snake” when it came to preventing Iran from reaching nuclear weapon capabilities, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic memo, Fox News reported. The report also indicated that a former American diplomat close to the Saudi royal family had indicated that the death of the king, coupled with the collapse of Yemen’s government, is a “worst case scenario” for the United States, as it allowed Iran to extend its regional influence and reach.

George H.W. Bush, former U.S. president, said that he was “deeply saddened” by the death of his “dear friend and partner King Abdullah.” He went on to say that the recently deceased was a “wise and reliable ally.”

As President, I found His Majesty always to be a wise and reliable ally, helping our nations build on a strategic relationship and enduring friendship dating back to World War II.

Abdullah, the country’s sixth king, became the de facto ruler in 1996 after King Fahd was incapacitated as the result of a stroke.

Prince Muqrin, 69, has been named the country’s Crown Prince.

Oil prices have surged since the announcement of King Abdullah’s death, ABC News indicated in a recently published report.

What are your thoughts on the rising oil prices and the death of the late Abdullah?

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