Obama says Sharon 'dedicated his life' to Israel

US President Barack Obama paid tribute to late Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on Saturday, commemorating "a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel."

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel," a White House statement said.

"We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security. We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security," it added.