Around the world, the tributes poured in for the King Hussein. President Clinton, preparing Sunday to attend the funeral, remembered him as a "friend and inspiration" who exhibited a "rare kind of courage'' in working for Middle East peace.
"Hillary (first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton) and I are deeply saddened by the news that King Hussein of Jordan has passed away,"said Mr. Clinton. "I had prayed this day would not come soon. But God has called King Hussein to his reward. The prayers of all Americans go out to the royal family." The King was a "magnificent man", a "great leader" and a "partner and friend."
In the Middle East, leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians issued praise as they declared official mourning periods to mark Hussein's death. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat announced three days of mourning with the Palestinian flag to be flown at half-staff throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the king's memory. The Palestinian Authority calls Hussein a statesman, a leader and a "servant of the just causes of his people." Arafat's office says the king earned the respect of all his brothers and friends in the Arab world and all those who love peace.
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and its President, Ezer Weizman, will both attend King Hussein's funeral. Throughout King Hussein's 46 years in power, Israel and Jordan had some rocky moments and relations have been periodically tense. But in 1994 the countries signed a peace treaty. President Weizman called Hussein `"one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century -- a brave soldier who fought for peace."
Other world leaders are also remembering Jordan's King Hussein. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thacher says he was irreplaceable. She says he'll have a very distinguished spot in history. The president of the Czech Republic says being Hussein's personal friend was an honor. Meantime, the European Commission calls Hussein an "exceptional leader and an ever shining light for peace" in the Mideast. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has sent Jordan's new king a telegram saying his father's accomplishments earned Jordan global respect and recognition.