WORLD
02/12/2018 12:25 AM AEDT | Updated 02/12/2018 5:49 AM AEDT

'Generous American Patriot': World Leaders Pay Tribute To George H.W. Bush

Heads of state past and present have remembered the former president, who has died at the age of 94.

World leaders past and present have paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, described Bush as a “real partner” during their efforts to conclude the Cold War.

“We had a chance to work together during the years of tremendous changes,” Gorbachev said in a statement to Russian news agency Interfax. “It was a dramatic time that demanded great responsibility from everyone. The result was an end to the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May called Bush “a true friend” to the United Kingdom whose “statesmanship, wisdom and friendship will be much missed.”

May’s predecessor, David Cameron, called Bush “a warm hearted, generous American patriot.”

Tony Blair, another former British Prime Minister, called Bush “an extraordinary and exemplary public servant.” 

While another former British PM, John Major ― in office from 1990 to 1997 ― praised Bush for serving “with compassion, courage, dignity and grace. “As president, he saw America’s obligation to the world and honoured it - and he remained committed to public service until the day he died,” Major added.

Queen Elizabeth II called Bush a “great friend and ally of the United Kingdom” in a statement, noting that “Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness.”

French President Emmanuel Macron described Bush as a “great leader.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to Trump that Bush was a “great patriot and statesman,” the AP reports. She praised Bush’s role in helping reunify Germany after the fall of the Berlin wall, adding that he was a “true friend” of the German people.

And Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called him “the architect of German unity.”

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of Afghanistan, said Bush had been a “great friend and supporter of Afghanistan.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Bush for being “a leading statesman at a critical period of world history.”

This story has been updated with statements from Angela Merkel and Queen Elizabeth II.