The vice president, Dr Ajaratou Isatou Njie-Saidy, was received on Tuesday evening at the royal palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she personally delivered a condolence message to the Saudi royal family on the death of former King Abdullah Ibn Aziz al Saud from the Gambian president, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh.
The vice president was accompanied by the Speaker of the National Assembly Honourable Abdoulie Bojang, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Neneh MacDoual-Gaye, the minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Mr Sheriff Bojang and the Gambian ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr Ousman G Sallah.
The Gambian delegation was received at the royal palace by members of the Saudi government and the royal family including the sons of the late king.
In the message addressed to the new king of Saudi Arabia, His Majesty Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Gambian leader stated: “Your Majesty and dear brother, it is with a very heavy heart, full of sorrow that I write to convey on behalf of my government, my family, the people of The Gambia and on my humble self, our heartfelt condolences and profound sympathy to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and our brothers and sisters of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the death of our brother and friend in Islam, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia. As we commiserate with Your Majesty and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular and the Islamic ummah in general, we pray that Allah, Subhanahu Waatala grant our departed brother and friend eternal bliss in the highest Jannatul Firdaus. May Allah Subhanahu Waatala also grant you the fortitude, blessing and protection to bear this loss and as you lead your great nation in these trying times. Please accept Your Majesty and dear brother, the assurance of our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences.”
The late King Abdullah was one of the many sons of Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. He was born on 1 August 1924 and ascended to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. He died on 23 January 2015, aged 90, three weeks after being hospitalised for pneumonia. He is succeeded by King Salman, his brother.
The Gambian delegation paid their condolences on the same day that the United States president Barrack Obama visited Riyadh to condole with the Saudi government on the king.
Following the death of the Saudi monarch, the Gambian president declared three days of national mourning over last weekend.
The vice president and her team have since left Saudi Arabia.]]>