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02.08.2005 General News

VEEP Attends Service in Memory of King Fahd


Accra, Aug. 2, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Tuesday described the late Saudi King Fahd, as the defender of stability in the Middle East and the supporter of the Arab and Muslim cause.

Speaking during a special Muslim prayers in memory of King Fahd, who died on Monday from respiratory problems, Alhaji Mahama said the late Leader facilitated the peace process in war ravaged Lebanon and "put the safety of his people above everything else".

The National Chief Imam, Nuru Sharabutu, led a number of Muslims comprising diplomats, chiefs and the clergy for the "Salatul Ghaib", special prayers for a dead person whose body is not lying in state. Vice President Mahama said: "This is the man we have lost and what we need to do is to pray for Allah to enable him to reside in his place called heaven.

"The Arab world has lost a great leader. The Muslim world has lost a supporter and a great king."

Mr Omar Kaleed, Palestinian Ambassador and Dean of the Diplomatic Corp in Ghana, who described the death of King Fahd as a sad moment, said he was a philanthropist, whose kindness was beyond, creed and religion.

"He always backed humanity and the needy. For instance in Palestine, he was helping Christians," he said.

"That is why the whole world could remember such a man in such an honourable way," he said.

Mr Abu-Al Hamayal, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said King Fahd played political, social and economic roles and asked Allah to grant him a safe passage to heaven.

In Saudi Arabia, prayers were said for King Fahd bin Abdel Aziz on Tuesday afternoon at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh, after which he was buried at Al-Oud cemetery amidst tight security. Newly crowned King Abdullah led the thousands of mourners.

According to medical sources King Fahd, believed to be 84 years old had been in ill health for years and passed away in a hospital at dawn on Monday.

The King had been admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, late May for "medical tests".

Fahd took charge in 1982 of a vast Kingdom, which is the world's largest petroleum exporter and holds a quarter of global oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty dates back to the 18th century, when "Lord of the Desert" Mohammad bin Saud joined forces with an austere Islamic reformer, Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab, and set about propagating by the sword a return to pure Islam.