May 31, 1981
I was shocked and deeply grieved to learn of the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman. The United States -- indeed the world -- had come to respect President Zia's profound and compassionate commitment to a better life for his people and his dedication to the rule of law. His wisdom in international affairs will be sorely missed. I am confident that the people of Bangladesh are united in their determination to assure that the stability and progress of recent years will survive this tragedy. Please extend to Begum Zia and her children my sincere condolences on this sad occasion.
Note: President Rahman was killed during an attempted coup d'etat by Army officers in Chittagong on May 30.