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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 15:34 UK

World leaders' Mandela tributes

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 90th birthday. Here are some of the tributes paid to him from around the world.

FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT F W DE KLERK
After his inauguration, Nelson Mandela used his personal charm to promote reconciliation and to mould our widely diverse communities into an emerging multicultural nation. This, I believe, will be seen as his greatest legacy.

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU

How blessed we have been. He has become the most admired statesman in the world, an icon of forgiveness and reconciliation, a moral colossus...Wonderful man, wonderful, wonderful gift to us. Thank you God, that you gave us Madiba [Nelson Mandela]. Hey, Madiba - enjoy your birthday, man, and stick around a little while longer.

SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI
His life and work have served as an embodiment of what human beings should be, in themselves and to others.

FORMER US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

The legacy of your struggle leaves future generations of South Africans with a freedom their ancestors could only dream of. Your charities will continue to give them a real chance for a brighter, healthier future - and the power of your example provides people everywhere with a source of strength on their own long walks to freedom.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

Nelson Mandela is a leader no prison cell, no intimidation, no threat could silence. A man whose belief in the future was so powerful that not even 27 years behind bars and barbed wire could destroy his dream that millions could be free.

90-YEAR-OLD ANTI-APARTHEID CAMPAIGNER HELEN SUZMAN

He is a very special man and his leadership qualities are obvious to all... and he's a darn difficult thing to measure up to.



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