Last Update 10:56
Thursday, 12 December 2019

Former French president Jacques Chirac dies, aged 86

Reuters , Thursday 26 Sep 2019
Jacques Chirac
File Photo: French President Jacques Chirac (R) and his wife Bernadette attend the traditional Christmas tree party at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 15, 2004. Picture taken December 15, 2004 (Photo: Reuters)
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Former French president Jacques Chirac, who led France from 1995 to 2007, died on Thursday morning at the age of 86, his son-in-law told Reuters.

"He passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his loved ones," his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux said. The head of the lower house of the French parliament interrupted a sitting of the chamber to hold a minute's silence.

Chirac, France's second-longest serving president dominated French politics for decades.

Following in the footsteps of previous French leader Charles de Gaulle, Chirac tried to elevate France's status as a player on the world stage. He stirred national pride with his opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

After leaving public office, he suffered from neurological problems, and was rarely seen in public at the end of his life.

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