Dhaka/Kathmandu, Aug 31 (PTI) Many world leaders on Monday condoled the death of former president Pranab Mukherjee, saying they have lost a true friend who made immense contributions to the strengthening of India's relations with their countries.
The 84-year-old veteran politician died after he suffered a septic shock on Sunday. He died of a cardiac arrest on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed sorrow over the demise of Mukherjee, describing him as a 'true friend' and recalling his 'outstanding and unforgettable' contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.
'His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the political arena of the sub-continent,' Hamid said, describing Mukherjee as a 'real and sincere friend' of Bangladesh.
He said Mukherjee played a crucial role in mobilising international support for Bangladesh's 1971 independence which 'quickened our victory'.
'I am profoundly saddened by the demise of former president of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. My thoughts and prayers are with the family members in this hour of grief,' Hasina said.
'Pranab Mukherjee was a true friend of Bangladesh. He has always been highly revered and loved by the people of Bangladesh. His steadfast support and contribution in strengthening the relations between the two countries, especially during his tenure as the 13th President of India, will always be remembered with deepest respect,' she said in a statement.
Bangladesh has announced a one-day national mourning on September 2 as a tribute to Mukherjee.
'The national flag will be flown half- mast on that day,' said an official statement issued late this evening.
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and chairman of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” have expresses their condolences on the demise of Mukherjee.
Nepal has lost a good friend, President Bhandari tweeted.
'I am deeply saddened by the news of the demise of President of India Pranab Mukherjee,' Oli tweeted. He also expressed heartfelt condolences to the people of India and also to the bereaved family.
'We remember his contributions in strengthening Nepal-India relations in different capacities of his public life,' Oli said.
Prachanda said that South Asia has lost an intellectual leader.
'I am saddened to hear of the passing of the Fmr. Indian President, Bharatratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He was a statesman par excellence, a writer & a man loved by all. The passion with which he served his nation is unparalleled. My deepest condolences to his family & friends,' Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a tweet.
Describing Mukherjee as a 'true friend of Israel', Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expressed his condolences at the passing away of one of India's most respected politicians, saying he helped strengthen the ties between the two countries.
'Israel stands with the people of India and the family of former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in mourning his passing,' Rivlin wrote in a tweet.
'A statesman much respected at home and abroad and a true friend of Israel who strengthened the deep ties between our countries and peoples,' he added.
Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel in October 2015, setting up the stage for the first visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.
Rivlin visited India in 2016 at Mukherjee's invitation and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018, leading to the elevation of the bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolences to President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi following the death of Mukherjee.
'Please accept deep condolences in connection with the demise of former head of state Pranab Kumar Mukharjee... As a true friend of Russia, he made a significant personal contribution to strengthening the relations of special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries,' Putin said in a statement.
'Very sad to learn of Pranab Mukherjee's passing. Through his long career in public service, he contributed much to the U.S.-India relationship, including signing the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement when he was the Minister of External Affairs. Our condolences to his family,' US ambassador to India Ken Juster said in a tweet.
'I convey my deepest condolences to the people and government of India, the family and supporters of former President & Indian statesman, Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away today. May he rest in peace,' Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah tweeted.
'Sincere condolences to his family and the people of India following the passing of former Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Mr Mukherjee was a public servant of the highest caliber and his passing is a tremendous loss not only to India but the entire South Asian region,' Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wrote on Twitter. PTI AR HM SPB MRJ AKJ MRJ