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Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
World press bids Ronald Reagan farewell
World press graphic

Papers across the globe bid a mostly fond farewell to former US President Ronald Reagan, who died on Saturday after fighting Alzheimer's Disease for the past 10 years.

Many editorials in Russia and Eastern Europe underline Mr Reagan's role in the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and the ending of the Cold War.

Chinese papers also praise his legacy, but Iranian dailies complain that Mr Reagan supported and armed Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran in the 1980s.

Reagan was a statesman who, despite all the differences between our countries, showed foresight and the will to stop the nuclear race, to embark on the destruction of nuclear weapons and to establish good relations between our countries.

Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia's Izvestiya

Ronald Reagan will go down in US and world history first of all as a president who was instrumental in dealing a crushing blow to world communism.

Dmitriy Sidorov and Sergey Strokan in Russia's Kommersant

Reagan's name has become an integral part of the history of Russian-US relations. It was he and Mikhail Gorbachev who turned the standoff between the two superstates into dialogue.

Artur Blinov in Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Having beaten the Soviets, he succumbed to Alzheimer's... One of the most popular American presidents, Ronald Reagan, has died after a long illness.

Lithuania's Respublika

Reagan was accused of intellectual limitations, and in cartoons he was shown as an aggressive cowboy. It was, however, his deeply personal anti-communism, his belief that totalitarianism is an unnatural evil which opposes human freedom, his decision that it was his obligation to work against that evil - it was these factors that sped up the collapse of the USSR.

Aivars Ozolins in Latvia's Diena

He defeated the Soviet Union, won the Cold War and helped restore freedom in Central Europe... Although he was a controversial president in many respects, the Czechs should not forget that Ronald Reagan is one reason that they are enjoying their present freedom.

Czech Republic's Mlada Fronta Dnes

His optimistic and uplifting spirit led the American people to gradually cast off the differences and concerns brought by the Vietnam War and to step onto the path of economic revival; his magnanimous and straightforward nature not only made the Republicans praise him more, but even political rivals were full of respect for him.

Zi Ye in Zhongguo Qingnian Bao (China Youth Daily)

The contradictions of Reagan's legacy do nothing to undermine his achievement in bringing the Cold War to an end. If the mark of a great presidency is the kind of moral clarity that can lead to nuclear disarmament and detente between long-standing bitter enemies, then Reagan will be remembered as a great president.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post

Among the important programmes executed by the Reagan government against Iran were to equip Saddam's regime with arms and plan for the start of Iraq's war against Iran. Among the scandals of Reagan's presidential term was the Iran-Contra affair.

Iran's Etemaad

It was during Reagan's presidency that America's weapons of mass destruction poured into Iraq, and Saddam deployed them during the Iran-Iraq war. It was also on Reagan's orders that the Iranian passenger airline was brought down by an American missile over the Persian Gulf in 1988, killing 290 passengers.

Iran's Kayhan

Given his focus on freedom, it is not surprising that Reagan was considered one of the most "pro-Israeli" presidents ever. Supporting Israel came naturally for him. Ronald Reagan was the father of moral clarity.

Israel's Jerusalem Post

Reagan faced the challenges of the Cold War and financial problems in the US with wisdom and put the US on the path of economic prosperity. The people of the US will always remember him as a great statesman.

Pakistan's Pakistan

Even though Ronald Reagan was the only US president who came from Hollywood, in reality all US presidents can be seen as starring actors... The giant project in which all these actors have a role has a single name: "When Do We Conquer the World, Buddy?"

Ece Temelkuran in Turkey's Milliyet

Mr Reagan's legacy continues to shape US policy through President Bush. Mr Bush claims him as his "ideological model" and has likened his "democratic vision" for the Middle East to Mr Reagan's crusade against communism. Mr Bush has also revived the controversial Reagan-era Star Wars missile defence programme and is counting on tax cuts to stimulate the economy. But the parallels should not be taken too far. Mr Bush is seeking change in a very different world.

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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