The US, Russia and Japan today condoled the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee, one of India’s most charismatic leaders, who led the nation through several crises while holding together a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics and superlative oratory, died here today at the age of 93.
The American Embassy here, in a statement, said the US grieves with India on the loss of the former prime minister. “He will be remembered for his immense contribution in bolstering US-India relations. During his tenure, Prime Minister Vajpayee advocated for a robust partnership with the United States, referring to us as ‘natural allies’,” it said.
The US mission in India extends its deepest condolences to the family of Vajpayee and the citizens of India, it said. Ambassador of Russia to India Nikolay Kudashev said, “We mourn the death of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a great statesman”.
Vajpayee’s name became an integral part of a whole era in Indian politics, the envoy said. “His devoted service to the nation can hardly be overestimated. Mr Vajpayee enjoyed due respect in India and globally. We knew him also as a poet, a man of knowledge and a true friend of our country, where he is well-known as one of the architects of our long-lasting and time-tested privileged strategic partnership,” Kudashev said.
Japanese envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing away of former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee”. Hailing Vajpayee as one of the most inspiring world leaders, the envoy said the upswing in India-Japan relations was only possible by the initiatives started by the former Indian prime minister.
“The demise of such a great leader is a great loss not only to India but also to Japan and other part of Asia as well as the entire international community,” he said.