New York

22 January 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Secretary-General has learnt with sadness of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the bereaved family of King Abdullah, the Government and people of the Kingdom 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.

The Secretary-General pays tribute 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.  The Secretary-General is also grateful for King Abdullah’s generous humanitarian and developmental support for people across the Arab region and wider world.

King Abdullah’s leadership will be remembered throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds and the international community.