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I am deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend, His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.  Melania and I send our sincere condolences to the people of Kuwait.  Sheikh Sabah was an unwavering friend and partner to the United States.  Earlier this month, I had the honor of awarding him the prestigious Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander.

The Amir was an unparalleled diplomat, having served as Foreign Minister for 40 years.  His tireless mediation of disputes in the Middle East bridged divides under the most challenging circumstances.  I hope that the Gulf nations will come together to honor his legacy and work toward the cooperative future he envisioned.