VATICAN CITY, AUG. 22, 2012 ( Benedict XVI sent condolences through his secretary of state to the president of Ethiopia for the death of the Ethiopian prime minister.

Meles Zenawi died Monday at 57.

In a message signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope recalled Zenawi's "many years of leadership" and offered "the assurance of prayers for his eternal rest."

"Upon the late Prime Minister 's family and all who mourn his loss, His Holiness invokes Almighty God's blessings as a pledge of consolation and hope," the telegram concluded.