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Global reactions to Sharon's death

Updated: 2014-01-12 02:32
( Xinhua/Agencies)

Obama Says Joins Israelis In Honoring Sharon's Commitment To Israel

President Barack Obama said on Saturday he joined Israelis in honoring the late Ariel Sharon's commitment to Israel and he affirmed traditional U.S. support for Israel's security.

In a statement, Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, send their deepest condolences to Sharon's family and to Israelis on "the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the state of Israel".

"We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples," said Obama.

He also said the United States continues to strive for lasting peace and security for Israelis "including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security".

"As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country," Obama said.


Merkel sends condolences on Sharon's death: spokesman  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has conveyed her condolences to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Saturday.

The chancellor "is mourning with the Israeli people" for Sharon, who was also committed to deepening the German-Israeli relations, Seibert said.

Sharon was an Israeli patriot and has rendered great service to his country, the spokesman added.

"With his courageous decision to withdraw Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, he took a historic step on the path to a deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution," said the spokesman.

Sharon died on Saturday at the age of 85. He had been in a coma for the past eight years since he suffered a stroke in January 2006.


UN chief saddened by death of ex-Israeli PM Ariel Sharon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said Saturday he was "saddened" by the death of Ariel Sharon, former prime minister of Israel, and called on the country to build on his legacy of pragmatism to press ahead with the Israeli- Palestinian peace process.

Ban offered his condolences to the late leader's bereaved family and to the government and people of Israel.

"Throughout a life dedicated to the State of Israel, Ariel Sharon was a hero to his people, first as a soldier and then a statesman," Ban said in a statement.

Sharon will be remembered for "his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip," he said, adding that Sharon's successor faces the difficult challenge of realizing the aspirations of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.

"The Secretary-General calls on Israel to build on the late prime minister's legacy of pragmatism to work towards the long overdue achievement of an independent and viable Palestinian state, next to a secure Israel," the statement said.

At this time of national mourning, the UN chief renewed the commitment of the world organization to work alongside the government and the people of Israel for peace and security.

Sharon passed away Saturday at the age of 85 after having been in a coma for the past eight years since he suffered a stroke in January 2006. He was then replaced by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from his center-left Kadima party, which Sharon established after leaving the right-wing Likud party.


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