01/08/2005

Saudi King Fahd dies in hospital

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has died, it has been announced.

King Fahd, who has reigned as the country’s monarch since 1982, died in the King Faisal Specialised Hospital in the capital, Riyadh, on Monday.

He had been admitted to hospital on May 27 for unspecified medical tests. He had suffered from ill health for a number of years, since suffering a stroke in 1995.

Crown Prince Abdullah has been named as King Fahd’s successor.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has paid tribute to King Fahd, describing him as a man of “great vision and leadership”.

Mr Blair said: “He served his country with the utmost dedication and dignity. He led Saudi Arabia through a period of unparalleled prosperity and development.

“He was also a good friend of the United Kingdom. Our two countries have benefited very greatly over the years from his wise advice. Under his guidance, we have developed extremely close political, commercial and defence links. They will always be seen as his legacy.”

(KMcA/SP)

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