Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz died on 23rd of January, weeks after he was admitted to a hospital. Abdullah, who had ruled since 2005 and was said to be aged about 90, had been suffering from a lung infection. His 79-year-old brother, Salman, has taken over the role of king, where any drastic changes in policies by him, especially regarding oil prices, are being anxiously anticipated by the rest of the world, ones that gravely affect every country.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz died on 23rd of January, weeks after he was admitted to a hospital. Abdullah, who had ruled since 2005 and was said to be aged about 90, had been suffering from a lung infection. His 79-year-old brother, Salman, has taken over the role of king, where any drastic changes in policies by him, especially regarding oil prices, are being anxiously anticipated by the rest of the world, ones that gravely affect every country

The death of King Abdullah, announced early this Friday, sparked speculation that Saudi Arabia could shift direction, which led to oil prices initially rising by 2 percent. However, King Salman moved in quickly on Friday to assure global energy markets that the country would maintain its strategy of pushing other top exporters to maintain a high level of oil production. However this statement has led many experts to be worried about the reality of oil prices where a prolonged slump in oil prices and budget pressures at home, might test this resolve.

Sadad al-Husseini, a former executive vice president and a board member of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, reassured everyone via a telephone s interview claiming “There is no near-term reason to modify the kingdom’s position.” Moreover he was very certain that the kingdom was unlikely to reverse a policy that it has just announced with the outcome still evolving.

As the new head of the largest Middle East oil producer, King Salman, immediately emerged as a powerful figure in the global oil patch. Saudi Arabia has risen to be an unchallenged leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the group of 12 oil-rich nations that have resisted cutting production, contributing to the recent sharp drop in crude prices. The new king said in a televised address that he would stick with “the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment.” Moreover, he vowed to keep the oil-rich Muslim kingdom on a steady course, following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah.

In his first public statement as king, Salman, called for “unity and solidarity” among Muslims and vowed to work in “the defense of the causes of our nation”.

The 90-year-old king of Saudi Arabia was laid to rest in the capital of Riyadh, in accordance with religious tradition in the country where Abdullah’s body was wrapped in a tan cloth and buried in a simple grave. World leaders have gathered in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects following his death, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande. A US delegation, led by President Barack Obama, will also arrive on Tuesday to pay their respect.

The dignitaries from more than 10 countries have already met with the new ruler, King Salman, where he has pledged continuity in the country's foreign and energy policies. These notables, travelling to Riyadh are a grand testament to Saudi Arabia's global standing, one that influences a cycle of policies all over the world.

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