World leaders condole Mukherjee’s demise

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WASHINGTON/DHAKA, Sept 2 (PTI): World leaders, including US President Donald Trump, have condoled the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee, recalling the veteran politician’s significant contributions towards strengthening India’s bilateral ties and helping its rise as a global power.

Mukherjee died on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.

The long-time Congress leader and seven-time parliamentarian tested positive for COVID-19 when he was hospitalised and was being treated for a lung infection. He suffered a septic shock on Sunday due to it. Doctors said he died of a cardiac arrest.

“I was saddened to learn of the passing of India’s former President, Pranab Mukherjee,” President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

“I send my condolences to his family and the people of India as they grieve the loss of a great leader,” he said.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US was deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Mukherjee.

“His visionary leadership helped drive India’s rise as a global power and paved the way for a stronger US-India partnership,” he said.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying ‘Bharat Ratna’ Mukherjee’s tireless work for the welfare of the people of India will inspire the future generation of leaders not only in India but across countries in the region.

Hasina called Mukherjee a “true friend” of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family.

Hasina said Mukherjee always extended his cooperation to her family while they were in exile in India after the assassination of her father and Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid earlier expressed sorrow over Mukherjee’s demise, describing him as a “true friend” and recalling his “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country’s 1971 Liberation War.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday paid his last respects to Mukherjee, describing the departed leader “a dear friend of Sri Lanka and its people.”

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih were among other leaders who paid their tributes on the demise of Mukherjee.

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