india-news

India to send 'very high level' delegation to Mandela funeral

New Delhi, Dec 6 : India would be sending a "very high level" delegation for the funeral of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela who died Thursday at the age of 95, an official said Friday.


After the dates of the funeral are worked out, then a "very high level delegation from India would go" for the funeral, said Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin at a briefing here.

Both "the prime minister and president have indicated the reverence we hold Nelson Mandela in... His death is a loss for South Africa and India... it is certain that a very high level delegation will go," the spokesperson said.

He said the Indian high commissioner was in touch with the South African authorities over the funeral, which is likely to be held on Dec 14.

Mandela was recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. He was a believer in the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, who served in South Africa and later went on to lead India to freedom.

Mandela served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Mandela as a "giant among men" and called him "a true Gandhian".

"...Not only did he represent the conscience of the world, he also remained a beacon of hope for those struggling against oppression and injustice long after he had led his own people to victory over such ills," the prime minister said in his tribute to Mandela.

--IANS (Posted on 06-12-2013)

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