Saudi king was a peacemaker - Zuma

2015-01-24 09:58
Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at a cemetery in Riyadh. (Mohammed Mashhur, AFP)

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at a cemetery in Riyadh. (Mohammed Mashhur, AFP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has sent condolences to the family of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud following news of his death on Friday, the international relations department said.

"The government and the people of South Africa share the grief of the entire Royal Family as well as the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at this time of bereavement," Zuma said in a statement.

"South Africa lauds King Abdullah for his leadership role and efforts as a peacemaker and mediator, particularly in the Middle East region."

Zuma said relations between the two countries were cordial and that they had been formalised in November 1994 during a visit by then president Nelson Mandela to the country.

King Abdullah, 91, was laid to rest in the city of Riyadh on Friday.

He had been in hospital for several weeks suffering from a lung infection.

He had been on the throne since 2005.

Abdullah's half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, is the new king.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  king abdullah  |  johannesburg

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