Turkey PM Consoles Hezbollah Leader Over Top Shi'ite Cleric's Death

Arab media report that Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Hassan Nasrallah to offer condolences over Fadlallah's death.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to offer condolences over the death of Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Arab media outlets reported on Wednesday.

Turkish PM Erdogan and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah

Erdogan reportedly expressed his sorrow over Fadlallah's death to Nasrallah, the late cleric's family and the Lebanese people.

Nasrallah responded by thanking the Turkish leader for the call and for his stance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying "your positions have given hope to the Arab and Muslim world."

Tens of thousands of people swarmed the coffin of Lebanon's top Shiite cleric as it made its way through the streets of south Beirut to the mosque for burial on Tuesday.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, 75, died Sunday after a long illness. The cleric was one of Shi'ite Islam's highest authorities and most revered religious figures.

Seen by some as a spiritual mentor to the Hezbollah militant movement and by others as a voice of pragmatism and religious moderation, Fadlallah enjoyed a following that stretched beyond Lebanon's borders to Iraq, the Gulf and Central Asia.

Known for his staunch anti-American views, Fadlallah was described by Western media in the 1980s as a spiritual leader of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah - a claim both he and the group have since denied.