Vice President Ansari led India's delegation at Saudi King's funeral

India's Vice President Hamid Ansari, who was once the Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, led the Indian government delegation at the funeral of Saudi ruler King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud who died on Friday. An official statement said 'the government and people of India received with deep sadness and shock the news of the passing of King Abdullah who died of complications from pneumonia. India has maintained close and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Abdullah, bonds that were strengthened by the presence of the large expatriate Indian community that found a home in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent messages of condolence to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud the successor to the throne. Modi said a few days ago he spoke to then Crown Prince Salman and enquired about King Abdullah's health, and the news of his passing is saddening. Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy recalled King Abdallah as one who was considerate to Indians, particularly Keralites, who have made their home in Saudi Arabia, a move that the departed's vision made possible. A recent study said of the 2.36 million Kerala diaspora, 25.2 percent are in Saudi Arabia.