NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee today condoled the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, remembering him as one who had "genuine warmth and affection" for India.
"King Abdullah had genuine warmth and affection for India and our people. He was personally committed to improving bilateral ties with India," the President tweeted.
In his passing away, Saudi Arabia has lost a beloved leader, India a close friend and the world an elder statesman," Mukherjee said.
Abdullah's death was announced on Saudi state TV at 1 am today. He was 90.
A powerful US ally, he had joined Washington's fight against al-Qaeda and sought to modernise the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women.