United Nations, Jan 23: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today condoled the death of Saudi King Abdullah, saying he has left a "tangible legacy" that can still show the path towards peace in the Middle East.
Ban paid tributes to King Abdullah's efforts to address regional and international challenges at a time of turmoil and rapid change, and to promote dialogue among the world's faiths.
"As the driving force behind the Arab Peace Initiative, King Abdullah left a tangible legacy that can still point the way toward peace in the Middle East," a statement issued by Ban's spokesman said. The Saudi king, one of the wealthiest and most powerful leaders in the world, died aged 90.
The Secretary-General expressed gratitude for King Abdullah's generous humanitarian and developmental support for people across the Arab region and the wider world as he offered condolences to the King's bereaved family, the government and the people of Saudi Arabia.
"King Abdullah made major contributions to the development of the Kingdom. Under his leadership over many decades in different high-level positions in Government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieved remarkable progress and prosperity for its people," Ban said, adding that his leadership will be remembered throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds and the international community.
General Assembly President Sam Kutesa also expressed profound sorrow on the passing away of the King.
"This is a great loss for Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah will be remembered as a remarkable man of peace who leaves a memorable impact on his country and world affairs," Kutesa said.
The General Assembly will hold a tribute in the memory of the late King. King Abdullah's half-brother Salman is now the new ruler. Another of the late monarch's half-brothers, Moqren, was named the new crown prince.