Here is a selection of reactions from world leaders and others to the death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who was known for his bold style and hard-driving tactics.[divider]
“Ariel Sharon is one of the most significant figures in Israeli history and as prime minister he took brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace, before he was so tragically incapacitated. Israel has today lost an important leader.” – British Prime Minister David Cameron.
US President Barack Obama also offered his condolences, stating: “We join with the Israeli people in honouring his commitment to his country.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin “highly praised Ariel Sharon’s personal qualities and his activities to protect Israel’s interests, noting a high respect for him among compatriots and his high authority in the international arena.” – The Kremlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel “is mourning with the Israeli people” for Sharon. “With his courageous decision to withdraw the Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, he took a historic step on the path to a deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution.” – Steffen Seibert, Mrs Merkel’s spokesman.
“Today, a strong leader has gone and my thoughts also go to his family.” – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
“Ariel Sharon’s last battle is now over… Sharon was literally from the beginning a tireless defender of his beloved homeland, Israel.” – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Labour leader Ed Miliband added: “Ariel Sharon was a figure who dominated Israeli politics for a generation. Nobody can doubt the impact he had on Middle East politics.”