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World leaders about Nelson Mandela

06 December 2013 [13:13] - TODAY.AZ
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has offered his condolences to South African President Jacob Zuma on the death of Nelson Mandela, the country's former president, IRNA news agency reported on Dec.6.

"Mandela believed on Humans` freedom and equality all around the world," he said.

Rouhani said Mandela was an excellent person who combined the politics and ethics, adding that he taught people to forgive but not to forget.

It should be noted that on Sept. 24, 2013, Iran held a ceremony to honor Mandela as "the man of peace, equality and freedom".

Foreign ambassadors and high-ranking Iranian officials, including Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, attended the event, dubbed as "Commemoration Ceremony of Nelson Mandela, the Man of Peace and Freedom".

Mandela became South Africa's first Black president in the country's first multi-racial elections in 1994. He is called Africa's elder statesman and is revered across the world for his role in ending apartheid in his homeland.

The former South African president has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. In recent years, Mandela's health problems have worried his supporters.

Mandela was taken to hospital on June 8 for lung infection. His lung troubles date back to the 27 years he spent in prison. He died on Dec. 5, following a long illness. He was 95.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hails Mandela as an example for humanity whose legacy will inspire people worldwide, dpa reported.

"Even many years in prison could not break Nelson Mandela or make him bitter - his message of reconciliation ultimately led to a new, better South Africa," Merkel said.

"Nelson Mandela's luminous example and his political legacy of non-violence and rejection of all forms of racism will remain an inspiration for people the world over for a long time still."

US President Barack Obama lauded Nelson Mandela Thursday as "one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth", dpa reported.

Obama pointed to the transformation that Mandela oversaw in South Africa, noting, "He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages."

The first black US president also said South Africa's first black leader had had a tremendous influence on his own political career, noting his first political action as a youth had been an anti-apartheid protest.

"I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him."



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