Kofi Annan, who has died aged 80. Joel Saget-AFP-Getty Images
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World leaders on Monday sent a message of condolence to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres over the passing of former UN chief Kofi Annan.

Annan died on Saturday morning at the age of 80 in Switzerland after a brief illness.

In his condolence message, President Xi Jinping of China, said he was deeply saddened over Annan’s and expressed condolences to his family and the UN.

Annan, he said, was an old friend of China, and China-UN cooperation was comprehensively strengthened during his term as the UN chief.

Also in his message, President Vladmir Putin of Russia, said: “many years of the life of this remarkable person and great politician were devoted to the service of the UN”.

Putin said, heading the UN at a difficult time, Annan did a great deal to realise the purposes and the goals of the organisation, strengthening its central role in world affairs.

He said Annan’s personal contribution to building the UN’s peacekeeping potential, as well as in the settlement of a number of regional conflicts, was particularly significant.

Also in a message, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said: “Mr Annan spent his life advocating for peace and human dignity during his long career at the UN.

Even after leaving his post as Secretary-General, Pompeo said, he embodied the mission of the UN by sowing the seeds of peace as Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders committed to advancing the cause of peace and promoting human rights around the world.”

Also in his message, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, said: “Kofi Annan was a truly great UN Secretary-General.

“It was an honor to work with him in his efforts to reform the UN, strengthen global health and peacekeeping, and reduce poverty.

“He made the fight against AIDS and the responsibility to protect civilians in conflict zones true priorities for the UN.”

Also, former President Barack Obama, said; “Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the UN like few others.

“His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.

“Long after he had broken barriers, Kofi never stopped his pursuit of a better world, and made time to motivate and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

He said that Annan played a vital role in leading The Elders’ work, and was a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private.

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