2008-12-05 17:58:00

U.S. ambassador "deeply saddened" by news of Alexy II's death

Moscow, December 5, Interfax - U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle has said he "was deeply saddened" to learn of the death of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II.

"He will be remembered around the world for his leadership of the religious revival in Russia after the fall of Communism," Beyrle said in a statement circulated on Friday.

"The Patriarch inspired the people of Russia by the example of his devotion and tireless work," the ambassador said.

"I will personally remember him as a man of courage, wisdom, warmth, and deep faith," he said.

The U.S. ambassador met with Alexy II shortly before the Patriarch's death.