Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Our late friend King Fahd | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I would like to express my deepest sadness and sorrow for the death of a wise and principled man, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, the guardian of all Arabs and Muslims. The shocking news has devastated me and the entire Arab and Islamic worlds. His death coincides with our region passing through difficult times over which the late King, may God bless his soul, always triumphed with all the wisdom and care of a father looking after his family.

The loss of King Fahd is a massive blow for the people of Saudi Arabia and everyone in the Arab and Islamic worlds. Throughout his reign, he fiercely defended and care for the worries and the suffering of the Arab world. With utmost honor and responsibility, He defended the interests of his nation during many regional and international crises.

King Fahd”s death is a massive loss given the current political climate in the Arab world. I have no doubt whatsoever that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and the Saudi leadership will continue in their predecessor’s footsteps and carry on assisting the Arab and Islamic nations.

I wonder whom to console first, ourselves, our brother King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the royal family in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi people, or the Arab and Muslims populations around the globe for the death of a wise leader and the most important personality in the region.

We can only hope that the numerous accomplishments of King Fahd on the Arab, Islamic or international levels and the noble opinions he so bravely defended will guide us for the future.

I had the honor of meeting the late monarch more than once. I first met King Fahd when he was still Crown Prince during the reign of King Khaled bin Abdulaziz. The second meeting occurred in 1991 and the last in 2004 when I was Prime Minister of Iraq. At the time, I also held counsel with then Crown Prince Abdullah.

The honorable late King was a leader full of initiative and support for the people of Iraq and resolutely opposed to the injustice and dictatorship they were subjected to. He held firm opinions against the tyrant regime of Saddam Hussein. King Fhad has also long supported the Iraqi opposition with all available means, never denying its members any aid or help.

Once more, I want to express my gratitude to King Fhad as he was the first leader to propose to the Iraqi opposition they establish a government in exile, in Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1994. His suggestion clearly indicated that the leading Arab and Muslim leader wholeheartedly supported the people of Iraq and ready to assist their elected government in regionally and internationally. The late sovereign also backed the Iraqi opposition conference in Beirut and assisted members of opposition groups and welcomed them to Saudi Arabia where many still reside today. In addition, King Fahd lent his support to opposition figures worldwide whenever they required it. He was never reluctant in offering his help to free Iraq from injustice nad oppression.

King Fhad bin Abdulaziz courageously stood against the former Iraqi regime on a number of occasions where no Iraqi could have ever imagined an Arab leader supporting our cause and defending us. Convinced the suffering of an Arab or a Muslim was a grave matter, supporting the oppressed took precedence over other issues with the late monarch. He did everything he could to maintain the stability and security of Iraq and the region.

His attitudes and opinions ought to be celebrated in years to come. We will never forget the courageous stances of the late King and the wisdom of the Saudi leadership and all the Saudi people.

I say it proudly; the people of Saudi Arabia and Iraq are brothers who are inexorably linked. Saudi Arabia and its people represent our historical Arab core and it turn, Iraq and its people form the strategic core of the Kingdom and its citizens. Last year, as Prime Minister of Iraq, I met with then Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. We signed some important agreements that serve the best interests of both countries and their people. I hope the current Iraqi government proceeds with these accords and implements them.

Last but not least, words fail to express the sad feelings that accompany the death of as great a monarch as King Fahd of Saudi Arabia . Our only comfort is knowing he will be succeeded by King Abdullah who is famous for his noble opinions on Arab and Islamic issues and for his support of the people of Iraq in their struggle.

We pray to God that the late King Fahd resides in God’s vast heaven. We also pray that He grants honor, glory, and prosperity to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its righteous leadership and its brotherly people under the reign of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.