Vice President Dick Cheney will visit Kuwait in a show of respect to Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the Kuwait emir who died Sunday, Cheney's spokeswoman said Monday.

"He will represent the United States and the president in paying respects to the Kuwaitis and Emir Saad. The Kuwaitis are a critical ally in the global war on terrorism," said Lea Anne McBride, Cheney's spokeswoman.

Cheney left Washington on Sunday to make up stops that were cut from his Middle East trip last month when he rushed back to Washington to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

After meeting with officials in Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Cheney will fly to Kuwait to mark the passing of Sheik Jaber.

McBride said he will pay respects to the royal family and meet with the late emir's successor, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah. She spoke to reporters traveling with the vice president during a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland.

Sheik Jaber was buried Sunday in an unmarked grave in a ceremony attended by thousands of weeping mourners.

In a statement later Monday, President Bush said he was "saddened to learn" of the amir's death.

"Sheikh Jabir was a friend and steadfast and reliable ally of the United States," the president's statement said. "He supported the U.S. servicemen and women who fought to liberate Kuwait and later Iraq from the aggression and tyranny of Saddam Hussein."

Last month Cheney canceled planned visits to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to rush home and cast his seventh tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Dec. 21. Before returning, he visited Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Oman.

The 51-50 vote passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion over five years. The vice president, under duties spelled out in the Constitution, also serves as president of the Senate and steps in when needed to break ties.