Sushma Swaraj no more: Foreign dignitaries remember the leader
Tributes pour from envoys and global leaders after the BJP stalwart passed away following a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night
Condolences poured in from dignitaries all over the world following the sudden demise of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday night. The 67-year-old senior BJP leader was admitted to All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after her health deteriorated. She passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Incumbent foreign minister S Jaishankar, who succeeded Sushma Swaraj earlier this year, said he was shocked to know about her untimely demise.
Deeply shocked to learn of the passing away of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Difficult to accept this news. The whole nation grieves, the Foreign Ministry even more so.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 6, 2019
Former Minister of State (MoS) for external affairs VK Singh who worked with the leader in the portfolio during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, said her demise brought the curtains "down on one of the most prolific and illustrious political figures of India". "The demise of Sushma ji, brings the curtains down on one of the most prolific and illustrious political figures of India. Her exemplary insights, understanding & visionary leadership will be missed by one and all," he said in a series of tweets.
The former Army General reminisced her outreach to the India diaspora, saying, "I was fortunate enough to work with her during the last term of our government. It was her witty comebacks & empathetic attitude towards every Indian who faced issues when traveling abroad that made her one of the most loved EAMs of India."
India's Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri also paid his respects, describing Swaraj as an "inspirational leader". "Just devastated to learn about the untimely demise of #SushmaSwaraj. She brought a rare empathy and a personal, human touch to the world of diplomacy and there is just so much that we learned from her. A truly inspirational leader," he tweeted.
The envoy also remembered his post-midnight session with the former minister in Abu Dhabi when the latter had arrived there as a 'Guest of Honour' to deliver the OIC Foreign Ministers' Conference. "Remembering our 2 AM session with #SushmaSwaraj in Abu Dhabi on March 1. She was to speak the next morning as Guest of Honour at OIC Foreign Ministers' Conference. Arrived after midnight, plunged straight into work, got a bit of rest and delivered a truly memorable address," Suri tweeted.
India's High Commissioner to Canada Vikas Swarup said he was stunned to hear Swaraj's demise and stressed that her legacy of making the ministry as "people-centric" will live on forever.
Stunned to hear that @SushmaSwaraj is no more. I had the privilege of working with her very closely. She touched millions of people with her kindness, her generosity & her service. Her legacy of making MEA a "people-centric" Ministry will live on forever. Truly a very sad day. pic.twitter.com/aKk2qs022Y— Vikas Swarup (@VikasSwarup) August 6, 2019
Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler, remembered Swaraj as one of India's most respected leaders, lauding her for taking Indo-French bilateral ties to "new heights". "My heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of former EAM of India, Sushma Swaraj ji. One of India's most respected leaders, she showed remarkable dedication to serving her fellow citizens & took the Indo-French relationship to new heights," Ziegler tweeted.
Bhutan's Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji also paid homage to the former minister."Deeply saddened to learn of the demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj, former External Affairs Minister of India. Our deepest condolences and sympathies to the people of India and the bereaved families. #@RuchiraKamboj," he said.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai reminisced the leader as a great orator. "Deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Behinji Sushma Swaraj. A tall leader and a great orator and people's person. My profound condolences to the people of India and her family and friends," he said in a tweet.
Counterparts share memories
Maldives' Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid also recalled his "good friend" Swaraj, describing her as the key architect of renewing bilateral ties between the two countries.
Deeply grieved to hear the demise of my good friend Smt #SushmaSawraj; Stateswoman extraordinaire, diplomat par excellence; A warm human being. Key architect of renewed Maldives-India friendship. Sincere condolences to bereaved family and people of India. May she rest in peace! pic.twitter.com/kcxbdsimxI— Abdulla Shahid ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ (@abdulla_shahid) August 6, 2019
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to Swaraj and extended sympathy to her family. "She (Sushma) was a good friend of Bangladesh. With her death, Bangladesh has lost a good friend. Bangladesh will recall her contributions in taking the relationship between the two countries to a new height," she was quoted by bdnews24 as saying.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also expressed his condolences over Swaraj's demise and recalled his "fruitful" discussions with her. "My deepest condolences to the government and the people of India on the passing of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. I had many fruitful and useful discussions with her while she held office, and am saddened by her sudden passing. May she forever rest in peace," he tweeted.
Former Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon remembered Swaraj's visit to Jerusalem in 2016 and said she was "impressively accessible" to the Indian diaspora. "An #Indian leader who was always impressively accessible to all #Indian citizens worldwide. I will not forget her friendship to Israel In #Parliament & in #Government & her visit to #Jerusalem, 2016," he wrote on Twitter.
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa expressed his condolences, addressing Swaraj as his "dear sister". "Indian leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who always called me "My Brother", is not with us anymore. Rest In Peace "my dear sister". India and Bahrain will miss you," he said in a tweet.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also paid tribute to the BJP stalwart.
Saddened to learn of @SushmaSwaraj’s passing. Throughout her long and inspired service to the Indian people, she brought wit, warmth and strength in her many distinguished roles. Respected by all, she will be deeply missed and forever admired. pic.twitter.com/nNqT4rFNfL— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) August 6, 2019
With inputs from PTI
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