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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Ronald Reagan: Tributes
Former US president Ronald Reagan
Reagan's sense of humour was remarked on by many
The death of Ronald Reagan, aged 93, has prompted tributes from current and former world leaders and other senior figures.

Most agreed that the former US president was a man who changed America and the direction of international history. Here are some of their comments:

US President George W Bush

This is a sad hour in the life of America. A great American life has come to an end.

Ronald Reagan won America's respect with his greatness, and won its love with his goodness. He had the confidence that comes with conviction, the strength that comes with character, the grace that comes with humility, and the humour that comes with wisdom.

He leaves behind a nation he restored and a world he helped save.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

At home, his vision and leadership restored national self-confidence and brought some significant changes to US politics.

Abroad, the negotiations of arms control agreements in his second term and his statesmanlike pursuit of more stable relations with the Soviet Union helped bring about the end of the Cold War.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

President Reagan was one of my closest political and dearest personal friends.

He will be missed not only by those who knew him, and not only by the nation that he served so proudly and loved so deeply, but also by millions of men and women who live in freedom today because of the policies he pursued.

Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty, and he did it without a shot being fired.

To have achieved so much against so many odds and with such humour and humanity made Ronald Reagan a truly great American hero.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

I feel great regret.

Reagan was a statesman who, despite all disagreements that existed between our countries at the time, displayed foresight and determination to meet our proposals halfway and change our relations for the better, stop the nuclear race, start scrapping nuclear weapons, and arrange normal relations between our countries.

Former US President George Bush

People ask me, 'Well, what was so special about President Reagan?'

And on a personal basis, it was his kindness, his decency, his sense of humour - unbelievable - and he had a wonderful way where you could disagree with him.

Former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary and I will always remember President Ronald Reagan for the way he personified the indomitable optimism of the American people, and for keeping America at the forefront of the fight for freedom for people everywhere.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry

Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious.

Even when he was breaking Democrats hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell

President Reagan fuelled the spirit of America.

His smile, his optimism, his total belief in the ultimate triumph of democracy and freedom, and his willingness to act on that belief, helped end the Cold War and usher in a new and brighter phase of history.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Like Reagan, Schwarzenegger has moved from film star to politician
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

I am deeply saddened by the passing of President Reagan.

He was a great American patriot. I did not just admire him, I was fortunate enough to know him.

He was a hero to me.

Lt Col Oliver North, Reagan's former national security aide

Ronald Reagan was easily the greatest president of my lifetime.

He brought down the Evil Empire and made the world safer for my children and theirs.

French President Jacques Chirac

A great statesman who through the strength of his convictions and his commitment to democracy will leave a deep mark in history.

Pope John Paul II's spokesman

The Pope received the news of President Reagan's death with sadness.

Two days ago, when he met President Bush at the Vatican, the Pope sent a warm message of best wishes to Mrs Reagan, knowing that her husband was very sick.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

The foundation of the Japan-US alliance that now serves as a driving force to solve international issues with other countries was built during President Reagan's era.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun

He made great efforts to overcome the Cold War. In particular, it will be highly evaluated that he made so many achievements for peace and stabilisation in the Korean peninsula and helped bolster the alliance between South Korea and the United States. South Koreans will remember that.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin

His wit, warmth and unique capacity to communicate helped to make him one of the most influential figures in the second half of the 20th Century.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

The news of president Reagan's death has greatly saddened us. Reagan will be remembered for his great vision and commitment to freedom. His contribution in securing world peace has earned him a permanent place in history.

Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

President Reagan was a friend to Israel and during his presidency relations between the two countries were based on both understanding and co-operation.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children.

Miguel D'Escoto, former foreign minister in Nicaragua's revolutionary Sandinista government

"There is not the least doubt that President Reagan did Nicaragua much harm, caused many deaths. He may not have had much time or inclination to regret the damage he did, but regardless of that we ask God to take pity on his soul."

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl

His [Reagan's] consistent championing of freedom contributed decisively to overcoming the division of Europe and Germany. We Germans have much to thank Ronald Reagan for.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa

Somewhere at the turn of the 1980s a number of politicians and others at different points on the globe began moving towards a single goal: the overthrow of the murderous communist system that had the blood of 200 million people on its hands. Reagan was one of the world leaders who made a major contribution to communism's collapse.

Former Georgian President and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze

I am very heartbroken, very heartbroken. He was one of the biggest partners for me - not only for me but for the Soviet authorities. By the way, you know what Bush told Gorbachev and me? If you manage to convince Reagan, if you manage to agree with Reagan, everything will be decided the way you have agreed. Reagan is a real man. These are the words of Bush senior.

Former Lithuanian parliamentary Speaker Vytautas Landsbergis

A man died who believed in freedom and changed the world. This is President Ronald Reagan, to whom Lithuania is grateful and will remain grateful for his firm resistance to the Evil Empire, giving us an opportunity for us to regain our freedom and return to democracy.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco

The late president was a unique statesman who marked his era by raising the profile and reputation of your great country and serving your friendly people with skilfulness, mastery and dedication.

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan

President Reagan will be remembered for his great vision and commitment to freedom. His contribution in securing world peace has earned him a permanent place in history. Ronald Reagan was not only one of the greatest American presidents, but also a very close friend and ally of Pakistan.

President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan

For the Republic of China [Taiwan], Reagan will be remembered as a good friend whose support helped the island survive many crises, and his death is an immeasurable loss both to the country and to the world.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard

More than anybody else, he followed the policies that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the final victory of a more free-market approach to the management of economies over the centrally planned approach in the old Eastern states.

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