'A giant of history' - European leaders reflect on Mandela

Global leaders have been paying tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, following his death on December 5.

Speaking at a France-Africa summit in Paris, French President François Hollande described the scale of Mandela’s achievements and legacy:

“He had already entered into history during his life, and, in death, he takes his place in the universal consciousness. Nelson Mandela not only changed South Africa – he also sped up the pace of change in the world,” Hollande said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Mandela’s iconic status during a news conference in Berlin:

“Nelson Mandela was convinced that hatred and revenge could not make the world a better place, rather only reconciliation and peaceful change. That is what he lived by and that is why he is a giant of history,” Merkel said.

Amid the sadness of many of the global tributes to Mandela, Dalai Lama offered some words of inspiration:

“Sad, just feel[ing] sad and pray, [doesn’t have] much meaning. Now we must develop determination or enthusiasm to carry his spirit,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in New Delhi, India.
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