World leaders have rushed to pay gushing tributes to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia following the death of the world's oldest monarch.
The king, thought to be aged about 90, died yesterday after two decades in power in the world's biggest oil exporter. Western governments - including Britain - have benefited from the authoritarian rule of the nation via lucrative arms sales and the continuing flow of Saudi oil.
In recent months, the Saudi authorities have been forced to deny they funded and exported an intolerant brand of Sunni Islam which gave rise to the brutal Islamic State insurgency in Syria and Iraq, and the sentencing of the blogger Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes threw a spotlight on the kingdom's harsh laws, where women are still not allowed to drive.
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