King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s successor and half-brother Salman promises to follow in the footsteps of the late Saudi monarch.
“We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” Slaman said in a televised speech on Friday.
King Abdullah died earlier in the day at the age of 90 after nearly two decades in power.
“The Arab and the Islamic nations are in dire need for solidarity and cohesion,” said the 79-year-old.
Salman had been serving as defense minister since 2011 and was increasingly moving towards taking over from his predecessor, whose health was deteriorating.
Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz has been named as the new crown prince.
Also on Friday, the new king appointed the kingdom’s Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the new deputy crown prince. The 55-year-old, the grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, is the first of his generation to be placed in line for the throne.
Salman also named his own son Mohammed as the new defense minister.
The king’s death is expected to fuel a power struggle within the ruling family.
The new monarch, who has suffered at least one stroke that has left him with limited movement on his left arm and is believed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s, is taking over at a time when King Abdullah’s demise is expected to fuel a power struggle within the ruling family.
His succeeding to the throne also coincides with the kingdom’s grappling with dissent in the east and the region’s attempting to deal with the repercussions of the terrorism funded and the extremism exported by Riyadh.
Riyadh has also turned into a butt of criticism for sending shockwaves throughout the international economy by allegedly fixing oil prices.