European leaders pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - Senior European Union leaders have described the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela as a very sad day for the world.

"This is a very sad day, not only for South Africa, but for the whole international community," the chairperson of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the president of the European Commission, Manuel Durao Barroso, said in a joint statement issued on Thursday evening in Brussels, shortly after the announcement of the death of the anti-apartheid icon.

For the two European leaders, Nelson Mandela "is the greatest historical figure of our time, who represents the fight against racism, political violence and intolerance".

"Nelson Mandela also represents justice, freedom and respect of human rights", said the statement.

"We have all learned a lecture for reconciliation, political transition and social transformation."

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said South Africa had lost its father and the world a hero, "one of the greatest men of our time".
-0- PANA AK/JSG/BBA/MA 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 12:21:00

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