World leaders have offered praise for the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy.
The tributes highlighted Kennedy's dedication to issues, from health care reform to human rights to peace in Northern Ireland.
Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said Kennedy had enormous
impact in resolving the Northern Ireland conflict. The senator was a
key American promoter of the peace process that finally led to the 1998
Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of sectarian violence in the
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who oversaw the Good Friday
negotiations, called Kennedy a "true public servant committed to the
values of fairness and opportunity."
During his nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy earned a reputation for supporting the underprivileged.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described Kennedy as a "defender of
the rights and interests of the defenseless." He said Kennedy "stood
for the best for all of us."
Senator Ted Kennedy was a strong opponent of the Vietnam War and the
U.S-led invasion of Iraq during the Bush administration. After he voted
against authorizing the Iraq war in 2002, he called it "the best vote"
he had ever made since becoming a senator in 1962.
Senator Kennedy also led the congressional effort to impose sanctions
on South Africa over apartheid in the 1980s, fought for human rights in
Chile, and championed the needs of refugees around the world.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd hailed Kennedy as a great American
who made an extraordinary contribution to the United States' role in
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the senator led the world in
championing children's education and health care and will be mourned
"in every continent."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Kennedy as one of the most
outstanding figures in U.S. politics. She said his advocacy for justice
and peace was characterized by "conviction and steadfastness."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Edward Kennedy "a
great champion of a better world" and a great friend of Israel.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Kennedy "has left a deep mark and deserves the homage of the free world."
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen described Kennedy as a "great friend"
of Ireland. He said Kennedy used his considerable influence for the
More on this by Anis Ahmed of VOA Bangla Service