President Obama issued a statement reacting to the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz praising his legacy of maintaining a close relationship with the United States.
“As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship,” Obama said. “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.”
Obama also recalled the Saudi King’s role in the development of the Arab Peace Initiative, calling it “an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region.”
Praising his “steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship,” Obama added that “the closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah’s legacy.”
Obama last spoke with Abullah in September prior to his major speech on the international coalition to fight Islamic State terrorists.
“May God grant him peace,” Obama concluded.