President Bush says he was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd.
In a written statement issued on Monday, Mr. Bush called the late Saudi ruler a man of wisdom who was a friend and strong ally of the United States for decades. In 1990, King Fahd allowed Mr. Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, to place U.S. troops on Saudi soil, after Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Today, President Bush also congratulated Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed King Abdullah. Mr. Bush said the United States looks forward to continuing the close US-Saudi partnership.
Other world leaders also paid tribute to King Fahd as a man who promoted good relations with the West and stability in the Middle East. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said King Fahd pursued balanced policies that earned him respect worldwide. And officials in Lebanon praised the king for his role in the 1989 Taif Accord that ended Lebanon's civil war.
Many governments in the Muslim world have declared official mourning periods for King Fahd, who as Saudi king was custodian of the Islamic holy sites at Mecca and Medina.