Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah dies at 90, Salman becomes new ruler

Published: January 23, 2015
Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Al-Od cemetary in Riyadh on January 23, 2015 following his death in the early hours of the morning. PHOTO: AFP

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Al-Od cemetary in Riyadh on January 23, 2015 following his death in the early hours of the morning. PHOTO: AFP

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Al-Od cemetary in Riyadh on January 23, 2015 following his death in the early hours of the morning. PHOTO: AFP Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was hospitalised in December suffering from pneumonia and had been breathing with the aid of a tube. PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died on Friday and was replaced by Crown Prince Salman, the OPEC-kingpin’s royal court said in a statement.

The late monarch’s half brother Moqren was named crown prince, according to the statement.

King Abdullah, believed to be around 90 years old, was hospitalised in December suffering from pneumonia and had been breathing with the aid of a tube.

RELATED: Saudi King Abdullah: patient reformer who battled hardliners 

He died on Friday “at 1:00 am (2200 GMT)” and would be buried later in the day following afternoon prayers, said the statement.

In recent years, his advanced age and poor health had raised concerns about the future leadership of one of the world’s key oil producers.

Abdullah’s half-brother Salman, 79, was named crown prince in June 2012 following the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

Salman had been representing the king at most recent public events because of the monarch’s poor health.

RELATED: New Saudi ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz

In March 2014, King Abdullah named his half-brother Prince Moqren as a second crown prince, in an unprecedented move aimed at smoothing succession hurdles.

Moqren, who was born in 1945, is the youngest of Abdulaziz’s sons.

Since the death in 1952 of King Abdulaziz al-Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, the throne has systematically passed from one of his sons to another.

RELATED: Here’s everything you need to know about the Kingdom

But many of them are old or have died. The former crown princes Sultan and Nayef died in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

World leaders have taken to their social media accounts to express their condolences to the kingdom. The White House released a statement to pass on the sympathies of the American people.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the King as a guiding force and also expressed his sympathies via Twitter.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also departed for the funeral prayers for King Abdullah.

Jordan’s King Abdullah has pulled out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, early following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

Other Arab delegates also left Davos prematurely, ahead of the funeral of the Saudi king

RELATED: King of Jordan cancels Davos talk after Saudi king’s death

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday postponed a planned trip to Somalia to attend the funeral of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, media reported.

He will go to the Saudi capital after completing an official visit to Ethiopia and will end the day in Djibouti.

RELATED: Turkish president postpones Somalia trip to attend Abdullah funeral

Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman, in his first public address, pledged on Friday no change in the kingdom’s direction and called for unity among Muslims.

“We will remain with God’s strength attached to the straight path that this state has walked since its establishment by King Abdul Aziz bin Saud, and by his sons after him,” Salman said in televised remarks.


Saudi Arabia buried King Abdullah Friday evening as foreign leaders gathered in the capital for the funeral of the ruler of the world’s top oil exporter and the spiritual home of Islam.

New Saudi ruler Salman joined Gulf rulers and leaders including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a funeral service at Riyadh’s Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque.

Abdullah’s shrouded body was borne on a simple litter by members of the royal family wearing traditional red-and-white checked shemagh head gear.

The body was quickly moved to nearby al-Od public cemetery where it was buried.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • Bro
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:11AM



  • omar khurshid
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:12AM

    Inna allahay wa Inna alahay rajion.


  • Saleem
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:20AM

    He was a great reformer in Saudi Arabia. I am not sure about his brother, the new king, as he has relations with Wahabi groups and been a promoter of them.


  • Mj
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:37AM

    My condolrnces to the Saudi people. He was a good man and a good king, and tried his best to put the country on the right track.


  • Char Latan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 7:25AM

    Given the passing of its Monarch, Pakistan should call for 30 days.


  • Dajjal
    Jan 23, 2015 - 8:44AM

    3 Day Public holiday in Pakistan??? Dammit its already the weekend… so it wont matter … now his death is in vain.


  • Farhan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:14AM

    USA and Israel lost a close friend. May they feel patient at this irreparable loss.


  • Milind
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:32AM

    Except for a few Pakistani politicians who feed off the Saudi royalty, nobody’s going to miss him – least of all the Saudi people…


  • Emjay
    Jan 23, 2015 - 10:06AM

    When is Nawaz Sharif announcing a week-long ‘soug’?Recommend

  • THE
    Jan 23, 2015 - 10:13AM

    Innalliahi wa inna ilyhi rajion.
    King of Humanity: King Abdullah. May Allah have his mercy on him.

    P.S: The Indians on this form can go back to being their usual troll selves.


  • Jan 23, 2015 - 10:38AM

    RIP King Abdullah.. We will Miss your kind attitude towards Pakistan. A song in the link is dedicated to you.


  • Jan 23, 2015 - 10:44AM

    : “Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajeoon.” Ameen. Salams


  • indi
    Jan 23, 2015 - 10:49AM

    Indians have two things to do – either rape or write comments on our newspapers.
    The ones writing here, in their own weird definition, didn’t get “laid”.


  • A
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:10AM

    At least he wasn’t a mass murderer like Modi.


  • Saudi
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:11AM

    Indians always have something negative to say at each and every occasion. Maybe have a look at the characters of Indian leaders ?


  • bash gul
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:15AM

    In Saudi Arabia, there is no holiday even if the king dies.


  • Mehreen
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:19AM

    Good riddance to bad rubbish


  • truthbetold
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:38AM


    “At least he wasn’t a mass murderer like Modi.”

    He did behead several hundreds of Pakistanis every year in Saudi Arabia.


  • Imran
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:47AM

    All condolence to Nawaz Sharif who’s been orphaned a third time after General Zia and Abba Ji.


  • powvow
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:55AM

    @A – “At least he wasn’t a mass murderer like Modi. “

    He did kill several hundred Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt, through his proxy there.


  • Milind
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:03PM

    The irony is that he was an alcoholic (Johnny Walker), lived a full life with several women, wine, food and still survived 90 years, defying all the medical theories….


  • Another Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:20PM

    and yet Modi has called him a guiding force, birds of same feather maybe?


  • Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:22PM

    Thanks for enlightening us with such crucial information. But guess what, our religion has taught us not to speak ill of dead. Maybe it is a different case in Hinduism.Recommend

  • T
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:38PM

    Modi just called him a guiding thinking maybe you are right or was Modi guiding the King in your mind ?


  • bilal
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:45PM

    We even celebrate deaths … What a pity


  • PirG
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:04PM

    From Babur (Mongol descendant later called Moghul) to Bahadur Shah Zafer, the last of them who incited the commoner to revive his franchise (1857 revolt against the British) it is the story of the wise people eating fools feast.

    This is the beginning of the end and as the crude is on a roller coaster downhill rampage, soon the sanity will prevail in the west and they will realize the mistake they made in supporting these unlawfull kingships in the name of some religion.

    …. and no i am not an indian my emotional paki friends.


  • Parvez
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:33PM

    Will he go UP…or will he go DOWN……..we will never know. My guess is DOWN.


  • Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:33PM

    Yipee. Indian paid trolls have woken up. Totally irrelevant comments. Wait before they drag Kashmir ISI into the news.


  • Pakistaniat
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:36PM

    Hundreds???? Where did you get this number from. Oh yes now I get it. Your pathetic imagination. Their country their rules. If you bring drugs you are dead so what’s the solution. Don’t take drugs. Simple.


  • Pakistaniat
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:38PM

    Yes. My friend. This is all what they live for. Obsession with Pakistan.


  • Jodi
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:39PM

    And where did you get this info from? RAW??


  • Villain
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:41PM

    And who is celebrating death?


  • Careless Whispers
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:47PM

    Dushman maray tay khushi na Kate yeah, Sajana we mar Jana way…


  • Naveed Khurram
    Jan 23, 2015 - 1:51PM

    Great Leader May His soul rest in peace Prayers !


  • Infidel
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:00PM

    May this downfall continue. And the Al-Saud perish, usurpers and hostage takers.


  • raw is war
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:14PM

    @bash gul:

    that is because Saudis dont do any work.


  • Milind
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:41PM

    @Another Pakistani – “and yet Modi has called him a guiding force, birds of same feather maybe?”

    That’s called diplomacy my friend.. Not all relations/issues are to be dealt or developed with force or meddling in other’s affairs… diplomacy does count…
    Of course you won’t get it, being from an army state.


  • dinesh
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:54PM

    Yeah we all know what happened in 1971. Do not act like sane and sober, filled with filth inside against every possible people including muslims of bengal in 1971. They were butchered in lakhs.


  • Dr AH / Germany
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:56PM

    I hope the new king of Saudi Arabia practises what he preaches: Unity among Muslims!


  • Pankaj
    Jan 23, 2015 - 2:56PM

    Truly, it is really sad to loose a friend, who always supported Indian views on Kashmir, rising above religious fanaticism……..


  • Shahrez Qureshi
    Jan 23, 2015 - 3:02PM

    I agree with you on this but he is. no more, he is dead.
    Let the poor soul be in peace.


  • Jan 23, 2015 - 3:55PM

    Look at the hate dripping from these shameless hindu trolls.
    A king died. And they are dancing. That is why Modi is not
    invited to Saudia. They will not shake hands with a hindu.

    ET please print. You are are allowing all this hate from hindu trolls


  • Urban Legend
    Jan 23, 2015 - 4:34PM

    Inna allahay wa Inna alahay rajion.! May the change in KSA result in more independent and honest ruler of the country.


  • Pity
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:00PM


    Read books on international politics when you get time.


  • Another Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:05PM

    Oh it is really surprising that India has an idea about democracy because as far as I know, India has never followed democratic norms in its relations with regional neighbors. I wonder how can you understand this given the fact that India is being ruled by a person who killed thousands of Muslims.


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 23, 2015 - 8:09PM

    The muslim world has lost a great leader who was the mightest and the most genrous of all. Those Pakis who are not aware should know that approx 1.5 millions of their folks live and work in Saudi Arabia. His brother, the new ruler has announced that he will follow on the footsteps of former Kig’s policies.

    Rex Minor..


  • Jalal
    Jan 23, 2015 - 8:36PM


    At least he wasn’t a mass murderer like Modi.

    really? Saudis the supporters of extremists everywhere and he, their king, was not responsible for it?


  • vinsin
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:11PM

    @Another Pakistani:
    Prove that India is being ruled by a person who killed thousands of Muslims.


  • Yolo
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:22PM

    Not a mass murderer? Wake up. This wahabi regime pumped millions of dollars into the madrassas and taliban to fight their proxy war in pakistan. Because of this, you have thousands of pakistanis who died. India is not your enemy. You youself are your worst enemy.


  • Jan 23, 2015 - 9:27PM

    We express our condolences to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the death of King Abdalle. The Saudi Royal Family helped the Somali people more than any other groups, mainly for their supports related with the development. However, we expect the relationship between the Royal Famiy and the Somalis should be promoted and maintained to the extent of Somalis to regain their national unity.

    At the end, we expect the Allah to unify all Muslims, mainly the Arabs in the righteous paths of Islam in order that we might freed from humiliations and ideologies posed to the separation of the Muslims.Recommend

  • pai jaan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:32PM

    the funniest comment on this board. pls do ur research and google before writing here…


  • saudi from jeddah
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:50PM

    i am soo disappointed to see comments from indians here. We give them jobs in saudia and this is what they think of us. Makes me think why we recruit them. King was a great leader which kept the whole nation together.


  • Jan 24, 2015 - 12:38AM

    @indi: You ar so right. Just forgot to add – in their spare time the stupid Indians send stuff out to Mars, manage Microsoft, Pepsi and Oracle, run the second largest Tech company (TCS) on the planet and still find time to occupy Siachen, Kashmir and Sir Creek.


  • Jan 24, 2015 - 1:11AM

    70% of the terror problems can be traced directly back to the House of Sauds and their funding of religious extremists in your country. Even after Peshawar, I don’t think Pakistanis have figured out their priorities.


  • Indian
    Jan 24, 2015 - 6:12AM

    @saudi from jeddah

    Saudis need to realize Indians do not appreciate you spreading your Wahhabi beliefs through our ancient land. Why do you sponsor radical madrasas and support the most radical Islamic movements in India and beyond. Why do you export your Shia-Sunni conflict to our land. Do Indians attempt to impose their beliefs and religion on Saudis. What draconian punishments do you impose on anyone questioning your orthodoxy.

    Before oil, desert Arabs were poor and you were poor for thousands of years.. My Saudi friend you have been coming to our shores for thousands of years. You came to trade and settle in India. Do not talk to us as if we are beggars. India for most of history has been immensely more wealthy than your sparse desert lands.

    Respect us. Do not proselytize violent dogmatic ideologies.. Be tolerant and will respect you back. Remember you are small country with oil.


  • Milind
    Jan 24, 2015 - 8:55AM

    @saudi from Jeddah – “i am soo disappointed to see comments from indians here. We give them jobs in saudia and this is what they think of us. Makes me think why we recruit them. King was a great leader which kept the whole nation together. “

    Assuming you’re a Saudi and not a Pakistani, let me counter your arguments… We don’t have first hand experience living under the rule of this king of KSA. Maybe he was good, but our opinions on the Saudi royalty have been based on the feedback given by our Saudi friends themselves..
    And yes, he definitely was not in the league of the Sheikh of Dubai, a no-nonsense leader, who is admired and revered by the people of Dubai, for ushering in prosperity, keeping it crime and terrorist free.


  • AK
    Jan 24, 2015 - 9:17AM

    As per Gulf news: ” There was no official mourning period in Saudi Arabia and flags around the kingdom all flew at full staff”


  • AK
    Jan 24, 2015 - 9:19AM

    one of the richest men in the history of the world, was carried in a simple white shroud to an unmarked grave .

    This is true Islamic tradition and Muslim should abide creating temples.


  • Pankaj
    Jan 24, 2015 - 1:38PM

    @pai jaan: @pity:

    Don’t take pity dear, start reading your own newspapers.

    of late, he was with India, from within his deep hearts. :) respect & learn from him.


  • observer
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:08AM

    @saudi from jeddah:

    “i am soo disappointed to see comments from indians here. We give them jobs in saudia and this is what they think of us. Makes me think why we recruit them.”

    I think you are a Pakistani from Karachi? Anyways, the Saudis are not giving free money to these workers. They put in hard work to earn their pay. Saudis need the services of these foreign workers because they can’t find native Saudis to fill these position. The workers toil hard in the hot climate and help build their infrastructure and fill service needs. Saudis are not doing a favor. It is the same as trade. Here the commodity is labor.


  • Saudi from Jeddah
    Jan 25, 2015 - 5:33AM

    I am sorry but you can think all you want. I don’t visit other newspapers but was only browsing the net when my King died and came across vile comments from Indians against my King and my beloved Saudia. I will not get into this debate but rest assured next time I hire an indian I will think twice. Two faced people…


  • pai jaan
    Jan 25, 2015 - 6:07AM

    As usual… selective reporting from websites when it suits you… the King also supported Pakistan during the 1971 war… and I can give you web links in which he supported UN resolutions to support the Kashmiris…which the Indians don’t accept… from within his deep heart… lol…


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