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Medvedev arrives in Saudi Arabia to pay last respects to deceased King Abdullah

January 24, 2015, 19:30 UTC+3 RIYADH
Medvedev was commissioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin to represent Russia at the funeral services in Saudi Arabia
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RIYADH, January 24. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday arrived in Saudi Arabia to pay last respects to King Abdullah who died on Friday at the age of 90.

Medvedev was commissioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin to represent Russia at the funeral services in Saudi Arabia. The Russian delegation also includes Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

King Abdullah was buried on Friday at the Al-Ud cemetery in Riyadh. On Saturday, the second day of mourning, condolences ceremonies are continued in Saudi Arabia. These ceremonies are attended by kings, heads of state and government from a number of states. Thus, French President Francois Hollande and King of Spain Felipe VI have already arrived in Riyadh. U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden expressed his intention to come to Saudi Arabia. The press service of the U.S. president’s administration said President Barack Obama would visit Saudi Arabia on January 27 to meet with Saudi’s new King Salman.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who acceded to the Saudi throne, on the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

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.

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.

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