President Reagan eulogized Moshe Dayan last night as "a courageous soldier and a great Israeli statesman." As word of Dayan's death reached world capitals, the White House issued Reagan's declaration:
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Moshe Dayan -- a courageous soldier and a great Israeli statesman. Dayan provided his nation with military leadership that was the envy of the world. His bold strategies brought him victory on the battlefield and respect from friend and foe alike.
"His service as a statesman was no less distinguished. He demonstrated those inner qualities of good will and integrity that are essential for peace and security...."
According to news service reports, Butros Ghali, Egypt's minister of state for foreign affairs who worked with Dayan on the U.S.-sponsored Egyptian-Israeli peace pact, called Dayan "a personality I respected" and said he "played a main role" in the negotiations.
"He was among the Israeli politicians who believed in the possibility of achieving a peaceful coexistence and peace between the Palestinians and Israel," Ghali added.
Former president Jimmy Carter added that Dayan's "dedicated and tireless efforts at Camp David helped to bring about a blueprint for peace between Israel and Egypt and all their neighbors."
Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, a Palestinian considered by the Israelis to be a moderate, said Dayan's death was "something of a loss. In his practical way and personal style he could have achieved something in his relations with the Arabs."
In Paris, French Defense Minister Charles Hernu said he was "extremely moved" by the death of Dayan."
"I have known him for many years," said Hernu, who added that he was paying tribute in his private capacity to the late Israeli defense minister, and was not doing it in his official capacity.
Former president Gerald Ford said, "An old friend and outstanding leader, Moshe Dayan, will be badly missed as we move forward with the peace process in the Middle East."
In New York, Howard M. Squadron, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of major American Jewish organizations said: "Moshe Dayan was a hero of war and a hero of peace, a gallant officer who led his nation's defense against Arab aggression and a creative architect of the Camp David accords and the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty."
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said he was "shocked and deeply saddened."