Egypt mourns Mandela’s passing

Interim President Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree on Friday instituting three days of mourning to mark the passing of Nelson Mandela, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

The iconic anti-apartheid leader passed away on Thursday night at the age of 95. World leaders have sent out messages hailing his courage and his conviction, describing him as a source of inspiration for the world.

Presidential spokesperson Ahmed al-Moslemany issued a press statement on Friday saying Cairo mourns the passing of a symbol of freedom, independence and liberation, and that Mandela’s message would always be an inspiration for those seeking justice, truth and welfare. 

Egypt and the whole of Africa would always associate Mandela’s name with glory and pride, the statement continued.

In his fight for equality in a racially segregated South Africa, Mandela served 27 years in prison. He later entered politics, and served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy echoed Moslemany’s sentiments, saying the world lost a historic symbol and an African son who, along with other African historic leaders such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and and Ghanian leader Kwame Nkrumah, led their people towards independence and freedom. 

Fahmy said Egypt cherishes its relationship with Mandela during his years of struggle, and the support Egypt offered him throughout his presidency.

Egypt stands with South Africa and Mandela’s sacrifices remain a motivation for the entire continent’s people, Fahmy continued.

Constitutional committee head Amr Moussa also offered his condolences, saying Mandela was a symbol of struggle, wisdom and achievement.

“Mandela lived for principles of truth, freedom, justice and equality. He passed on with respect and appreciation as a source of inspiration for humanity,” Moussa wrote on his Facebook page. 

Moussa offered his condolences to the South African people, as well as the Egyptian people who respected Mandela and appreciated his struggle.

Mohamed ElBaradei, former vice president for foreign affairs, also mourned the South African icon on his Twitter account.

“Nelson Mandela: ‘Let freedom reign.’ Humanity has lost its greatest son,” he wrote.

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