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Death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia

2 August 2005

Death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia

Prime Minister Helen Clark today extended the Government’s deepest condolences to Saudi Arabia on the death of King Fahd.

“King Fahd was the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and so occupied a unique position of trust and guardianship not only for his own people but for Muslims the world over,” said Helen Clark.

“As a ruler he oversaw a period of growth and development which transformed the Saudi economy and made Saudi Arabia’s influence felt throughout the region. His death is a sad loss particularly to his family and his people.”

New Zealand has developed longstanding and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia. The bilateral trading relationship is worth more than half a billion dollars. Saudi Arabia is a significant market for our dairy and sheepmeat exports, and a major supplier of oil. New linkages based on educational and other people-to-people exchanges are also growing.

“This positive and mutually beneficial relationship was fostered during King Fahd’s reign,” said Helen Clark.

The Government is considering how it will be represented at King Fahd’s condolence service, scheduled for 3 - 4 August.

In accordance with normal practice, the New Zealand Flag will be flown at half-mast on Tuesday 2nd August 2005 on all government and public buildings and naval vessels which normally fly the New Zealand Flag, to mark the death and funeral of His Majesty King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

ENDS

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