December 06, 2013 15:45
Mandela contributed a lot to developing cooperation between Russia, South Africa - Russian Foreign Ministry
MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Russia is deeply grieved by the death of Nelson Mandela, who considerably contributed to establishing cooperation between Russia and South Africa, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The message came from Pretoria late on December 5 that Nelson Mandela had died following a long disease. Moscow met the news with deep sorrow - an outstanding political and state activist of the modern age, who contributed considerably to establishing diversified cooperation between Russia and South Africa, has passed away," the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement.
Mandela was an extremely important international authority, the document said. "Having headed the peaceful transfer from the apartheid system to democracy and progress, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and came to rule South Africa in 1994 as the first elected president," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The visit of Mandela to Moscow in 1999 gave considerable impetus to the development of friendly relations between the two countries, bringing them to their current high level of cooperation stipulated in a joint declaration on establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership signed by Putin and Zuma on March 26 in Durban," the statement said.
Mandela has also received the Lenin Peace Prize and the Order of Friendship, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Russia will always cherish his memory.
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