Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Has Died

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died at the age of 90, according to official state media reports. The state-run press had been reporting for weeks that the monarch was suffering from pneumonia and had been hospitalized. The Saudi Press Agency said earlier this month that the king, who was reportedly diagnosed with lung cancer, was given a breathing-aid tube. King Abdullah had been the official king of Saudi Arabia since August 2005, but he had been running the country since his half-brother, King Fahd, had a stroke in 1995. Abdullah cautiously allowed greater freedoms in Saudi Arabia and was considered a key U.S. ally. Under his leadership, Saudi Arabia contributed to the campaign against ISIS.

Abdullah's successor is his half-brother 79-year-old Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. Salman has served as the country's defense minister since 2012 and was the governor of Riyadh for nearly five decades before taking on that role. He is said to be suffering from dementia.

Former President George H.W. Bush called Abdullah a "dear friend and partner," and said he would "never forget the way Saudi Arabia and the United States stood together against a common foe - marking a moment of unparalleled cooperation between two great nations."