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World Leaders Pay Tribute to King Fahd


World leaders are praising the late King Fahd as a man who promoted good relations with the West and helped bring stability to the Middle East.

Many governments across the Muslim world have declared three- to seven-day mourning periods for Fahd, who as Saudi king was custodian of the Islamic holy sites at Mecca and Medina.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Britain benefited from Fahd's wise advice. In Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Fahd earned respect worldwide for his balanced policies and mediation in the Middle East.

In Lebanon, lawmaker Saad al-Hariri and the militant group Hezbollah both praised Fahd for his role in the 1989 Taif Accord that ended Lebanon's civil war.

The White House said President Bush was informed of the king's death early Monday, and later called Saudi Arabia's new King Abdullah to offer his condolences. A White House spokesman said the United States will send an official delegation to King Fahd's funeral.

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