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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 7, 1999


Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the news that King Hussein of Jordan has passed away. 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 and the Jordanian people.

No words can convey what King Hussein meant to the people he led for nearly half a century. Words cannot convey what he meant to me as a friend and inspiration. Through good times and bad, through health and illness, he showed the power of a strong will applied to a worthy cause. It takes a rare kind of courage to be a peacemaker -- the courage to learn from the past and imagine a better future. When peace finally comes to the Middle East, his name will be inscribed upon it. That day, King Hussein will smile on us one more time.

I had the honor of seeing him just a few weeks ago, as he was about to return home. There was no hint of the struggle he was waging. Instead, he spoke with his usual passion and humanity about Jordan's well-being, the future of the Arab world, the Palestinian cause, and peace with Israel.

To Queen Noor, to Crown Prince Abdullah, to the King's family, and to the people of Jordan, Hillary and I send our condolences. The United States stands with you -- today, tomorrow, and in the future. I ask all Americans to remember this good man and his family.

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