The departure of former French President Jacques Chirac is a major loss, primarily for France and Europe, but also for the world, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday.
Croatia’s Prime Minister attended a commemoration and lunch hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron for 30 foreign leaders at the Elysee Palace.
"The departure of fifth president of France’s Fifth Republic, Jacques Chirac, is a great loss for France. He did a great deal for France and Europe, but we can also say that he played a global role and always underscored the values of the Republic in his activities: the values of freedom, democracy, fraternity, and solidarity," Prime Minister Plenković told reporters.
Plenković described Chirac as one of the most beloved presidents, a statesman, a great politician and prime minister, and a two-term president.
“He was well-known for his solidarity. He was a man who fought against exclusion in politics. Today, both France and Europe, and the world, were here to say farewell to a great statesman,” he added.
Chirac attended a summit in Zagreb in 2000, which he said was an important milestone in Croatia’s road towards joining the European Union.
“He later supported our activities with regard to NATO and EU membership and we have come here because we value his efforts and we want to nurture good relations with France,” Plenović said.
He also said we and Macron are working on scheduling a visit by the French President to Croatia in the near future.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former German Chancellor Helmut Schroeder, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri were also among the mourners at the Saint Sulpice church for a mass in memory of Chirac, who died last week aged 86.
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