Profile: Saudi's new King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud

Updated: 2015-01-23 17:29


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Profile: Saudi's new King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud meets with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at Ziguangge Pavilion in the Zhongnanhai leaders' compound in Beijing in this file photo from March 14, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Saudi King Abdullah -- ruler of the world's largest oil exporter for almost a decade -- died Friday, and his half-brother -- former Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud -- received the pledge of allegiance as the new king.

The following is a profile of the new monarch.

Salman, born in December 1935, is the 25th son of the desert kingdom's founder Abdulaziz bin Saud who conquered his rivals and welded disparate regions of the Arabian Peninsula into a kingdom in 1932.

For almost five decades, Salman served as governor of Riyadh province, home to the capital city. Since 2011, he has been minister of defense following the death of his brother Prince Sultan.

He was appointed as crown prince in 2012 after the death of Saudi Arabia's heir apparent and interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Since becoming heir to the throne, Salman, who also served as interior minister, has been chairing cabinet meeings for several months and paid a series of visits to Western and Asian nations.