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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 15:53 UK

In quotes: Edward Kennedy tributes

US Senator Edward Kennedy - brother of former President John F Kennedy - has died of cancer at his home in Massachusetts. He was 77. Here are a selection of tributes from around the world.

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we have all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.

His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives...

He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines.

And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

KENNEDY FAMILY STATEMENT

Edward M Kennedy - the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply - died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port.

We've lost the irreplaceable centre of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.

We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.

He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him.

HARRY REID, SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER

The Kennedy family and the Senate family have together lost our patriarch. It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy. He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon.

As we mourn his loss, we rededicate ourselves to the causes for which he so dutifully dedicated his life. Because of Ted Kennedy, more young children could afford to become healthy. More young adults could afford to become students.

More of our oldest citizens and our poorest citizens could get the care they need to live longer, fuller lives. More minorities, women and immigrants could realise the rights our founding documents promised them. And more Americans could be proud of their country.

NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

Rooted in his deep patriotism, his abiding faith and his deep concern for the least among us, no-one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors and ensure equality for all Americans.

JOHN BOEHNER, HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER

The people of Massachusetts and the United States Congress have lost a tireless public servant.

Ted Kennedy was my friend. While there were few political issues on which he and I agreed, our relationship was never disagreeable, and was always marked by good humour, hard work, and a desire to find common ground.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H W BUSH

While we didn't see eye to eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service - so much so, in fact, that I invited him to my library in 2003 to receive the Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service.

Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the United States Senate - a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body's history.

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER

I think that among all the members of our US Senate and the Congress of the United States he's been pre-eminent. He's been staunch and honest and open and very able to express his views to the American people.

My own hope is that his deep commitment to the comprehensive health plan in our country now will be honoured by his contemporaries, by his peers, in the near future.

JOHN KERRY, DEMOCRATIC SENATOR FOR MASSACHUSETTS

He taught us how to fight, how to laugh, how to treat each other, and how to turn idealism into action, and in these last 14 months, he taught us much more about how to live life, sailing into the wind one last time.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

He was known to the world as the "Lion of the Senate", a champion of social justice and a political icon...

Teddy inspired our country through his dedication to health care reform, his commitment to social justice and his devotion to a life of public service.

ORRIN HATCH, REPUBLICAN SENATOR FOR UTAH

Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend.

Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States senator whose influence cannot be overstated.

Many have come before - and many will come after - but Ted Kennedy's name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber.

NANCY REAGAN, FORMER FIRST LADY

Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family.

In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research and I considered him an ally and a dear friend.

I will miss him.

UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

Edward Kennedy will be mourned not just in America but in every continent.

He is admired around the world as the Senator of Senators.

He led the world in championing children's education and healthcare and believed that every single child should have the chance to realise their potential to the full.

FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR

Senator Kennedy was a figure who inspired admiration, respect and devotion, not just in America but around the world. He was a true public servant committed to the values of fairness, justice and opportunity.

I saw his focus and determination first-hand in Northern Ireland where his passionate commitment was matched with a practical understanding of what needed to be done to bring about peace and to sustain it.

I was delighted he could join us in Belfast the day devolved government was restored.

My thoughts and prayers today are with all his family and friends as they reflect on the loss of a great and good man.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

Senator Kennedy has been a friend for 30 years, a great American patriot, a great champion of a better world, a great friend of Israel.

He will be sorely missed.

IRISH PRIME MINISTER BRIAN COWEN

Throughout his long and distinguished career in politics, Ted Kennedy has been a great friend of Ireland. He has used his considerable influence in the world's most powerful parliament for the betterment of this island.

In good days and bad, Ted Kennedy worked valiantly for the cause of peace...

He played a particularly important role in the formative days of the Northern Ireland peace process in the 1990s. He has also been a strong advocate of US investment in Ireland.

America has lost a great and respected statesman and Ireland has lost a longstanding and true friend.

N IRELAND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER MARTIN MCGUINNESS

Edward Kennedy was an opponent of conflict and he was someone who was very forthright in all of his views. And that is something that I always respected.

He was someone who was hugely important in contributing, for example, to advising President Clinton at a time when President Clinton was being advised by a very powerful body in the State Department not to give a visa to Gerry Adams. Senator Kennedy's advice was to the contrary.

Whatever his views on Irish Republicanism and the conflict and on the IRA prior to 1994, he certainly was hugely supportive.

JOHN HUME, N IRELAND POLITICIAN

He had enormous input because given his international status and the fact that he was in regular contact about the situation in Northern Ireland.

He had a great influence encouraging the British government to work together with the Irish government to solve the Northern Ireland problem together.

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD

Ted Kennedy was a great American, a great Democrat and also a great friend of Australia.

He has made an extraordinary contribution to American politics, an extraordinary contribution to America's role in the world.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

Edward Kennedy was for decades one of the outstanding personalities of American politics.

His advocacy of justice and peace was marked by conviction and steadfastness.

NELSON MANDELA FOUNDATION

We mourn, with his family, and the United States of America, the loss of a champion of democracy and civil rights.

His made his voice heard in the struggle against apartheid at a time when the freedom struggle was not widely supported in the West. We remain grateful for his role.



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