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Reuters, Published December 05 2013

Reaction to death of Nelson Mandela

The following is reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela on Thursday at age 95.

South African President Jacob Zuma: "Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity earned him their love."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, on Twitter: "A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time." U.S. President Barack Obama: "He achieved more than could be expected of any man.... Today he's gone home, and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth."

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, in a statement: "Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As President, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment - setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement: "Nelson Mandela was of the most honorable figures of our time. He was the father of his people, a man of vision, a freedom fighter who rejected violence. He set a personal example for his people in the long years he spent in prison. He was never arrogant. He worked to mend the tears in South African society and with his character managed to prevent outbursts of racial hatred. He will be remembered as the father of new South Africa and as an outstanding moral leader."

Former U.S. President George W. Bush, in a statement: "President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever."

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny: "The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe. Today, a great light has been extinguished. The boy from the Transkei has finished his long walk. His journey transformed not just South Africa, but humanity itself. As we mark his passing, we give thanks for the gift of Nelson Mandela. We ask that his spirit continues to inspire, guide and enlighten us as we strive to bring freedom and dignity to the family of man, our brothers and sisters, across the world."

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, in a statement: "Nelson Mandela was an inspirational leader, and a remarkable man. ... For years he symbolised South Africa's hope for a future free from apartheid. Mr. Mandela was a force for change, not only in South Africa, but around the world."