FILE PHOTO: Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan, arrives for the media launch of the Africa Progress Report 2014 in London May 8, 2014. REUTERS
Egypt's foreign ministry expressed on Saturday its "deep sorrow" over the death of former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan, describing him as "an icon and a source of pride for every African and lover of peace."
"We deeply regret the departure of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and extend our deepest condolences to his family and to the African and international community," foreign ministry spokesperson Abu Zeid said in a statement on Twitter.
"[Annan] has left a mark for the causes of peace and development that will not be erased by the passage of time," Abu Zeid said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has also expressed condolences to current UN Secretary-General António Guterres over the loss of Annan.
The 80-year-old Ghanaian national died at a hospital in Bern, Switzerland early on Saturday, two of his close associates said.
In Geneva, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced that he had died after a short illness, saying he was surrounded in his last days by his wife Nane and children Ama, Kojo and Nina.
Annan served two terms as UN secretary-general from 1997 till 2006, retiring in Geneva and later living in a Swiss village.
Annan and the United Nations shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to reform the world body and give priority to human rights issues.