WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is expressing condolences and offering sympathy to the people of Saudi Arabia upon the death of King Abdullah, an important ally and a major force in the Muslim world.
Obama, who visited with the ailing king in his desert compound last March, praises Abdullah for taking "bold steps" in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative. Obama credits the 90-year-old king for being dedicated to the education of his people and greater outreach to the international community.
Obama says he "valued King Abdullah's perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship." He says the king's advice was always candid.
The president says one of Abdullah's legacies is the strength of the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah's death was announced Thursday by Saudi state TV.