RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN | Arab News
Published — Sunday 17 June 2012
Last update 17 June 2012 10:46 pm
A book of condolence for diplomats will be opened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the death of Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, said Alauddin A. Alaskary, deputy minister for protocol affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here yesterday. Alaskary, who expressed his grief and condolences, said that the book will be open to all foreign diplomats posted in the Kingdom. He said that the ministry would decide tomorrow as to when and where the condolences will be received. He said the book would be opened either in Jeddah or Riyadh.
But, condolence messages started pouring in as soon as the news of the death of Crown Prince Naif was announced yesterday afternoon. US Ambassador James Smith said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of Crown Prince Naif and I convey my heart-felt condolences on behalf of the US Embassy and the people of the US to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, the family of late Prince Naif and the people of Saudi Arabia."
This is a sad day not only for Saudi Arabia, but also for the US, which lost a close friend, he added. He said: "I had the pleasure of meeting and consulting with Crown Prince Naif many times to discuss key regional and bilateral issues and I am personally going to miss his strong partnership and leadership."
"We can't but remember that Crown Prince Naif was known for his courage and dedication to the security of his country, his steadfast service for Haj and his visionary leadership in the fight against extremism," said Smith.
"I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Crown Prince Naif today," said Roddy Drummond, charge d'affaires at the British embassy in his condolence message. He said that Crown Prince Naif's long service to his people and his country will not be forgotten and will be remembered by generations to come.
In his condolence message, Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Endo said: "I was saddened to learn the passing away of Crown Prince Naif, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior with deep grief and sorrow."
"I, on behalf of the government and people of Japan, extend my deep condolences and sincere sympathy to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, to the royal family and the Saudi people," he added.
Endo said that Prince Naif made great contributions to the Kingdom’s peace and development. "He was a great leader, devoting himself to his country and his people," said the Japanese envoy.
Ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia Muhammad Naeem Khan and Consul General Abdul Salik Khan expressed their deep grief over the death of Crown Prince Naif. On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, they conveyed to the people of Saudi Arabia and the members of the bereaved royal family their profound condolences.
They said that the passing away of crown prince was "a great loss for the people of Saudi Arabia and the entire Muslim Ummah."
Sen. Sehar Kamran, who is also the principal of the PISJ-ES, Jeddah, too expressed sorrow at the death of Prince Naif. The graduation ceremony of PISJ-ES A Level students, scheduled for today, has been postponed.
Bangladesh President M. Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni expressed their deepest sorrow and condolences at the sudden demise of Prince Naif. In their messages they said Bangladesh lost a dear friend and a brother following the sudden death of Prince Naif.
Expressing his sorrow over the death, Albanian Ambassador Admirim Banaj said, "Crown Prince Naif was a great leader, who had a long tenure of his service for his people and the nation. On behalf of the government and people of Albania, I offer my sincere condolences on this irreparable loss."
Abdul Hameed Mohammed Fowzie, senior minister from Sri Lanka, will represent the country at the crown prince funeral. Fowzie told Arab News in Colombo that news of Prince Naif’s death was received with shock by the entire world, particularly the Muslim Ummah.