"Prime Minister 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. His successor faces the difficult challenge of realizing the aspirations of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people," Ban said in a statement.
Ariel Sharon laughs as his wife Lily stands at his side during an aerial display in an Israeli Air Force Base July 15, 1982 in this handout photo released by the Government Press Office.
(image by (Reuters/Baruch Rimon/Government Press Office)) DMCA
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has also expressed condolences to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the death of an " outstanding statesman and military commander. " The late politician was highly respected by compatriots and was held in high esteem in the international arena, Putin said.
Russia will remember him as "a consistent supporter of Russian-Israeli friendly relations and as a person who made a considerable contribution to strengthening bilateral mutually advantageous cooperation," the message reads.
"Ariel Sharon ... has been a major figure in the history of his country. After a long military and political career, he made the choice to turn towards dialogue with Palestinians," French President Francois Hollande said in a statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Sharon as "one of the most significant figures in Israeli history."
"As prime minister he took brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace, before he was so tragically incapacitated. Israel has today lost an important leader," Cameron said.
US President Barack Obama praised Sharon's commitment to Israel and reaffirmed America's "unshakable commitment to Israel's security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries."
The United States continues to strive for lasting peace and security for Israel "including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security," he said, Reuters cites.
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