New Saudi King Seeks Unity Among Arab, Islamic Nations

King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the new Saudi Arabia monarch has pledged to continue the policies of his predecessors and called for unity among Arab and Islamic nations at this time of regional unrest.

“The Arab and the Islamic nations are in dire need of solidarity and cohesion,” the 79 -year-old King said in his first speech.

He succeeds King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, his half-brother who had been hospitalized due to a bout of pneumonia in December and died early Friday at the age of 90.

The late King was a force behind OPEC and a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, Abdul Aziz officially ascended to the throne in 2005, but had been de-facto ruler for years before that. He has been buried in an unmarked grave in Riyadh.

However, Salman’s call for unity is observed as a clear response to the unrest in the region fomented by the rise of the Islamic State in large parts of Syria and Iraq.

“We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” he said.

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