Mecca, 2 Rabi’ul Akhir 1436/23 January 2015 (MINA) – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has passed away on early Friday due to lung disease, the Royal Court said in a statement early on Friday.
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)’s reporter in the Mecca reported that the Royal Court has issued the official statement through TV and radio across the country.
Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz became king and Prince Muqrin was declared Crown Prince, another Royal Court statement said, as quoted by Al Arabiya.
“With great sorrow and grief 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,” the Saudi Royal court statement said.
Funeral prayers will be held later in the day following afternoon prayers at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque in the capital Riyadh, according to the statement.
Prince Salman declared Saudi Arabia’s king
Another statement said that Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received the pledge of allegiance as the country’s king from members of the royal family. After that, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz received the pledge of allegiance as Crown Prince.
Both King Salman and Crown Prince Muqrin will receive pledges of allegiance from citizens on Friday evening, the statement said.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (1924 – 2015) was proclaimed the sixth King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 25 Jumada al-Thani 1426H (August 1, 2005), upon the death of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz.
King Abdullah was also Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers and Commander of the National Guard.
King Abdullah was born in Riyadh in 1924, and received his early education at the royal court. Influenced by his father, founder of the modern Kingdom King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, he developed a profound respect for religion, history and the Arab heritage. His years spent living in the desert with Bedouin tribes taught him their values of honor, simplicity, generosity and bravery, and instilled in him the desire to assist in the development of his people.
In 1962, Prince Abdullah was chosen by King Faisal to command the National Guard. He was appointed Second Deputy Prime Minister in 1975 on the succession of King Khalid, and when King Fahd came to the throne in 1982, he was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister. In the latter capacity, he presided over cabinet meetings and governed the country as deputy to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz.
Since ascending the throne in 2005, King Abdullah made development a central focus of his reign. He initiated a range of major economic, social, education, health, and infrastructure projects that have brought about remarkable changes throughout the Kingdom.
King Abdullah’s notable achievements in this area included the launch of four mega economic cities, the creation of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University for Girls, projects to expand the Two Holy Mosques and major welfare projects. He also approved a historic reorganization of Saudi Arabia’s judicial system and enacted laws to formalize the royal succession. As Crown Prince in 2005, he closely monitored the ongoing election process for the country’s municipal councils.
On a global level, King Abdullah’s participation in international diplomacy reflects the Kingdom’s leadership role in defense of Arab and Islamic issues and for the achievement of world peace, stability and security.(L/R04/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)