Saudi Ara­bia's ' re­former' King Ab­dul­lah dies

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Cus­to­dian of the Two Holy Mosques King Ab­dul­lah has died, state tele­vi­sion re­ported early on Fri­day and Crown Prince Sal­man be­came king, it said in a state­ment at­trib­uted to the new ruler. He was 90. King Sal­man has called on the fam­ily's Al­le­giance Coun­cil to pay al­le­giance to Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.

King Ab­dul­lah as­cended the throne on Aug. 1, 2005, fol­low­ing the death of King Fahd. Dur­ing his reign, King Ab­dul­lah has been re­spon­si­ble for sig­nif­i­cant so­cial, eco­nomic, cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal re­forms.

This in­cludes em­pow­er­ing women po­lit­i­cally, grant­ing for­eign schol­ar­ships to thou­sands of stu­dents, build­ing eco­nomic ci­ties and con­struct­ing spe- cial­ized hos­pi­tals. King Ab­dul­lah was hos­pi­talised in De­cem­ber suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia. He died on Fri­day "at 1:00 am (2200 GMT)" and would be buried later in the day fol­low­ing af­ter­noon prayers, said the state­ment. Sal­man had been rep­re­sent­ing the king at most re­cent pub­lic events be­cause of the monarch's poor health. King Sal­man, 79, was named crown prince in June 2012 fol­low­ing the death of Prince Naif.

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