Canadian PM to pay final respects to Mandela

Canadian PM to pay final respects to Mandela
# 08 December 2013 04:53 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Saturday that he, together with his three predecessors, will travel to Johannesburg on Sunday to pay their last respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died two days ago, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In a statement, Harper praised Mandela as "one of the world's most respected political and moral leaders."

"Nelson Mandela was a model of humility, grace, and forgiveness who dedicated his life to the relentless pursuit of equality, justice and freedom for the people of South Africa," said Harper.

"His life and teachings touched Canadians deeply. His legend and legacy will undoubtedly inspire people from all walks of life for generations to come."

Harper said that former Canada's Prime Ministers Jean Chretien, Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney have confirmed that they will join his delegation to South Africa.

They will attend the public memorial for Mandela, which will take place on Dec. 10 in Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa, as well as his lying in state in Pretoria, the Capital on Dec. 11.

A book of condolence in honor of Mandela, who visited Canada three times and was granted a honorary citizenship, has been set up on Parliament Hill, on which Harper signed on Friday morning.

Mandela died on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection. He was the first democratically-elected president in South Africa, with an honor of the state father in the country.

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