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World Leaders, French Citizens Express Sorrow at Mitterrand’s Death

January 8, 1996

``Not only France, but the United States and the entire world benefited from his strong and principled leadership. We hope the sorrow of this difficult time will be eased by an appreciation of the profound contribution that President Mitterrand made to his nation and the world. He was a great statesman.″ _ President Clinton.

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``Over his many years as president, and by his bearing and his culture, he seemed to symbolize for the rest of the world something of the essential France.″ _ Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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``I am mourning a good friend. ... Europe has lost a great statesman in Francois Mitterrand.″ _ German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

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``France has lost a great leader. America has lost a good friend. Francois Mitterrand’s impact on international affairs, and his powerful commitment to European integration, will be felt far into the future.″ _ Pamela C. Harriman, U.S. ambassador to France.

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``During the 14 years of his presidency, Francois Mitterrand worked tirelessly for the improvement of humanity. His continuing international action, inspired by a humanist and world view, made him an ardent defender of the cause of the United Nations.″ _ U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

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``He was a man of his word and I had great respect for his intellect and for his innate sense of decency. He was my friend, and I will miss him very much.″ _ Former President George Bush.

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``He was my friend. He was a friend to all of us.″ _ Custodia Martins, a Portuguese concierge who has lived in Paris for 27 years. She never met Mitterrand, but last year she sent him a letter wishing him well, and he responded with a note of thanks.

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