1 August 1924 – 23 January 2015
RIYADH: The world mourns the death of Saudi King Abdullah, 90 today. King Abdullah was credited for bringing the oil-rich kingdom and guardian of two of Islam holiest sites to a more moderate path.
Abdullah pushed through cautious changes while in power, challenging conservatives with moves such as including women in the Shura Council, an advisory body.
He promoted the kingdom’s economic development and oversaw its accession to the World Trade Organization, tapping into the country’s massive oil wealth to build new economic cities, universities and high-speed railways.
His successor, King Salman, 79 is expected to follow closely the policies of the late King although the price of crude oil jumped some 4% immediately after the news of the King’s death was announced as oil traders were expecting the new King to reduce the present oil glut.