WASHINGTON: Following is the full text of President Barack Obamaâ€™s statement on Thursday on the death of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s King Abdullah:
It is with deep respect that I express my personal condolences and the sympathies of the American people to the family of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and to the people of Saudi Arabia.
King Abdullahâ€™s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations. He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavour that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region. At home, King Abdullahâ€™s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world.
As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullahâ€™s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the United States – Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond. The closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullahâ€™s legacy. — Reuters