(QHA) -

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died, royal officials have announced, weeks after he was admitted to hospital, he is due to be buried  in Riyadh later on January 23.

A statement early on Friday said his 79-year-old half brother, Salman, had become king.

Saudi Arabia holds more than a fifth of the world's crude oil, and also exerts some influence over the world's 1.6 billion Muslims through its guardianship of Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest sites.

The Saudi-brokered plan was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, and spelled out steps to end the Palestinian-Israel conflict, most notably offering Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from all land captured since 1967.

QHA