The Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC issued the following statement at a press conference on August 1, 2005, following the death of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
The statement was read by Charge d’Affaires Rihab Massoud.
"Let me begin by first thanking President Bush and the American people for their expressions of condolence at the loss of our beloved leader and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz.
When one of our brothers passes away, we look to God as his companion and savior. We are reminded of the sura of the dawn, which instructs us: O peaceful soul! return towards your Creator. Happily and with pleasure, join the flocks of my servants and enter Paradise.
"King Fahd’s 23-year legacy as the fifth benevolent leader of our people in our recent history is that his reign will be remembered as a time of modernization and diversification at home: and, abroad, as demonstrating an abiding allegiance to be an active member in the world of nations – promoting cooperation and peace among all countries.
"One of his first official engagements on behalf of Saudi Arabia was as a participant in the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations in 1945, of which Saudi Arabia was a founding member.
His work with nations of the world will be remembered for its active engagement and cooperation on matters great and small.
"In the 1990s King Fahd turned his attention to the development of the State with an ambitious reform program. In 1992, he established the Basic Law of Governance of the Kingdom, based on the Holy Qur’an. These reforms also included the establishment of the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura). The further development of the Kingdom was outlined in 2003 when King Fahd set out a wide-ranging program of reforms in the political, economic and legal systems. He established both non-governmental and governmental human rights organizations and broadened popular participation by calling for an equal role for women in the development of Saudi Arabia.
"While we mourn the passing of our visionary leader and friend to the Saudi people, we feel secure and proud of our new leader - a leader known well to the Saudi people and to the entire world: King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. In his capacity as King he will have a strong partner in his chosen Crown Prince, Minister of Defense and Aviation, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz.
"In the spirit of King Fahd, King Abdullah believes Saudi Arabia and our people have a destiny to modernize our society and to play an important role on the world stage.
"King Abdullah has traveled the world as the public face of our country, promoting peace for the Middle East and security for the international community. He, like King Fahd, recognizes Saudi Arabia’s important place in the world.
"His relationship with the American people is strong and committed. Just a few months ago, he visited with President Bush in Crawford, Texas and again renewed our desire to be allies both economically and in the war on terrorism.
"During his tenure as Crown Prince, the relationship between our two nations was challenged as never before on September 11, 2001. The response was certain and unwavering: Saudi Arabia will not stand for an evil cult, using the Islamic faith as an excuse for mass violence. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all peaceful nations as strong allies.
"As the reign of King Abdullah begins we look for that policy to continue and for the relationship between our two great nations to become even stronger.
"Saudi Arabia is home to a quarter of the world’s known oil supplies and my government has pledged to continue King Fahd’s legacy of providing the globe with stable and secure energy.
"As we say in Arabic upon the passing of our loved ones: We are created by God, and to Him we shall return.
"May God’s blessings and peace be upon you. Thank you."