Israel, Canada condole Vajpayee’s demise
New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Israel and Canada have paid their tributes to former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away due to a prolonged illness in New Delhi on Thursday. Vajpayee, who was India's 10th prime minister, breathed his last at the age of 93 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. He was cremated with full state honour at the Smriti Sthal yesterday. In a statement, the Canadian Foreign Ministry tweeted, "Canada extends its sincerest condolences to the people of #India following the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who devoted his life to the benefit of his country. We extend our deepest condolences to the government and people of India at the loss of #India's former PM Vajpayee." Israel's Foreign Ministry also condoled the demise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart, describing the latter "a genuine friend of Israel." The ministry wrote on the micro-blogging site, "He will always be remembered as a genuine friend of Israel. ????????#AtalBihariVajpayee #Vajpayee." Many international leaders and countries also mourned Vajpayee's death. Along with national leaders, a string of foreign dignitaries including King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Sri Lanka's acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella and former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai were in the national capital to attend Vajpayee's last rites yesterday. Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998 to 2004, was the first-ever member of the BJP to become India's Prime Minister. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour in 2015.
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