Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz sent a cable of condolence yesterday to Dr. Bashar Al-Assad and his family on the death of his father, Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad. In his cable, King Fahd stated: "We have received with saddened hearts the painful and tragic news of the death of your dear father. The Arab world has lost by his absence a great and wise leader and sincere struggler who had been faithful to his country, its people and the Arab nation as a whole. Moreover, we have lost, in his death, a dear friend, a kind brother and keeper of the pledge. On behalf of myself, all members of the royal family, and the Saudi people, we convey deep condolences on his death. We pray God to have mercy on him and grant him paradise."
Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz sent a similar cable of condolences, saying: "We were greatly saddened by the news of the death of your father. The tragedy is immense. This is, however, destiny from God, and we should be patient as God wills us to be. The Arab world and the Muslim people have lost one of the wisest and ablest of men. He was a brave and sincere fighter for Arab rights and the Palestinian cause, for the sovereignty of his country and the dignity of his people; and he was a faithful friend to us. We send deep condolences on his death and pray God to grant him mercy and forgiveness." Crown Prince Abdullah also contacted Dr. Bashar on Saturday evening by telephone, to convey to him, to his family and the Syrian people, his deepest condolences on the President's death, and praised the efforts exerted by the late President in the service of the Arab and Muslim worlds. The Crown Prince will travel today to Damascus to offer condolences in person.
Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz sent a similar cable, saying: "We were deeply saddened by the painful and tragic news of the death of your father. There is no doubt that the Arab and Islamic worlds have suffered a great loss in terms of his absence from the arena of the Arab cause with his continual struggle for what is right. I convey my deep condolences to you, the family of the deceased and our brothers the people of Syria. I pray God to bestow mercy upon him and grant him paradise."
[official statement on death of President Al-Assad]