NEW YORK/ROME, JANUARY 7 – Deeply saddened by the passing of former Portuguese President and Prime Minister Mário Soares, who died earlier today in Lisbon at the age of 92, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres hailed the commitment to freedom and democracy that made Mr. Soares “one of those rare political leaders of true European and global stature.”
Soares legacy goes “far beyond Portugal”, said Mr. Guterres in a statement. The UN chief, who is himself Portuguese, said Mr. Soares has left an indelible mark on political life in Portugal, the result of his steadfast and courageous political commitment and the principles and values that he consistently pursued throughout his life. Liberty was always his foundational value, he added.
Mário Soares, Prime Minister of Portugal from 1976 to 1978, as well as during the early 1980s, was the country’s President from 1986 to 1996. In Italy the Rome based Comunita’ di Sant’Egidio recalled him as a “man of dialogue” whose good offices contributed to the talks that eventually brought to the peace agreement for Mozambique in 1992. (@OnuItalia)