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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 April, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
World reaction to death of Pope

World leaders have been paying tribute to Pope John Paul II who has died at the age of 84.


A great Pope - our most outstanding fellow countryman, the Holy Father, a good father to all of us, believers and non-believers, followers of different religions - is no more.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski


We are grateful to him for the tireless and difficult work he carried out unstintingly against all forms of totalitarianism, violence, oppression and moral degradation, all in the name of the values of the Catholic Church, which are the supreme values of human dignity and solidarity.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi


A good and faithful servant of God has been called home.

The world has lost a champion of peace and freedom.

US President George W Bush


I was deeply saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II.

Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan


Our people receive the news of his death with a deep sense of grief and loss.

He was a holy champion of the Filipino family and of profound Christian values that make everyone of us contemplate... what is just, moral and sacred in life.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo


We have always seen the Pope, and will always see him, as a friend who was concerned for the poor, who fought neoliberalism and strove for peace.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque


John Paul II was always on the side of the most poor, of the most unprotected, of the most unfortunate, those who were left behind in the development process.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates


Until the end of his life, John Paul II carried out his mission with energy and clarity. The suffering he did not hide in his last years never altered his determination.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva


John Paul II was an exceptional man, his legacy will transcend generations.

Mexican President Vicente Fox


This mourning deeply marks France as well as every French person who identifies with the message of the Catholic Church.

French President Jacques Chirac


For us Catholics, John Paul II will be remembered as a travelling Pope ... and we should also remember he preached world peace. When the United States invaded Iraq, for example, John Paul II said it was an illegal and immoral act.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez


The world has lost a religious leader who was revered across people of all faiths and none. He was an inspiration, a man of extraordinary faith, dignity and courage.

Throughout a hard and often difficult life, he stood for social justice and on the side of the oppressed, whether as a young man facing the Nazi occupation in Poland or later in challenging the Communist regime.

He never wavered, never flinched, in the struggle for what he thought was good and right.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair


The story of Pope John Paul II is that of a man of immense faith and conviction and, in latter years, great personal courage.

He engaged with human culture and civilisation in every aspect and in every corner of the world.

Irish President Mary McAleese


Pope John Paul II not only visited Nigeria twice but stood by the country in its fight against dictatorship and injustice.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo


It is with extreme sadness that we hear of the passing of the leader of the world's Catholics, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who commanded the three paths of religious learning, philosophical thought and poetical and artistic creativity.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami


Israel, the Jewish people and the entire world, lost today a great champion of reconciliation and brotherhood between the faiths.

This is a great loss, first and foremost for the Catholic Church and its hundreds of millions of believers, but also for humanity as a whole.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom


We have lost a very important religious figure who dedicated his life to peace and justice for all.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas


The Pope was a great friend of Albania. He made a distinguished contribution to the setting up of the Catholic Church in Albania. Albanians are grateful to him for the beatification of Mother Theresa.

Albanian President Alfred Moisiu


I am proud to say that I was a friend of the Pope, a great man. Kosovo and Albanians will remember him as a great Holy Father who did a lot for our country, Kosovo.

Ibrahim Rugova, president of Kosovo


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Worshippers across the world mourn Pope John Paul II



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