EU pays tribute to Mandela on his 90th birthday

July 18th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, July 18 (DPA) The European Union (EU) Friday paid tributes to Nelson Mandela on his 90th birthday, with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso describing the former South African president as a “source of inspiration for generations of Africans and world citizens”. “His life illustrates the power of the will, of courage, the power of freedom and also the force of reconciliation,” the head of the EU executive said.

Barroso’s remarks were echoed by president of European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering, who called Mandela “a symbol of freedom and equality” and “an inspiration to defenders of human rights worldwide”.

Poettering said the example of reconciliation offered by the ageing leader could also inspire peace in conflict zones, such as the Middle East.

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