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Russian PM Medvedev to attend King Abdullah funeral services in Saudi Arabia

January 23, 2015, 15:02 UTC+3
King Abdullah died on Friday at the age of 90
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Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev

© Yekaterina Shtukina/Russian government's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will arrive in Saudi Arabia to pay last respects to King Abdullah who died on Friday at the age of 90, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.

"Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will represent Russia at the funeral services in Saudi Arabia at the instruction of the Russian president," Peskov told TASS.

King Abdullah, one of the world’s most powerful people, assumed the throne in 2005 as the country's sixth king after the death of his half-brother, King Fahd.

King Abdullah died at the age of 90 on Friday.

The leaders from world countries and international organizations have sent their condolences to the people and authorities of Saudi Arabia. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement: “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.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed his condolences. Putin said the king's death was a great loss to the kingdom and Saudi people.

"The deceased king was known as a wise and consistent statesman and politician, a leader loved and respected by his people and had a deserved authority on the international scene," the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying. "His Majesty ruled the country effectively and successfully on the important stages of its development and did a lot to improve the socio-economic situation of the [Saudi] people, development of the country's public institutions and fight against terrorism at different levels."

Putin also praised King Abdallah's role on the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Russian president said that his meetings with King Abdallah in Moscow and Riyadh had been productive and "confirmed the traditional friendly nature of bilateral Russian-Saudi relations."

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