Reaction to Colin Powell's death from US and world figures

AP , Monday 18 Oct 2021

World figures are reacting to the death of Colin Powell, a Vietnam War veteran who rose to the rank of four-star general and became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then secretary of state. Powell died Monday of COVID-19 complications at age 84.

Colin Powell
Colin Powell, a US war hero and the first Black secretary of state who saw his legacy tarnished when he made the case for war in Iraq in 2003. AFP

Joe Biden

``Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation's strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity. From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation's policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong.'' _ President Joe Biden.

Barack Obama

``General Powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher. He never denied the role that race played in his own life and in our society more broadly. But he also refused to accept that race would limit his dreams, and through his steady and principled leadership, helped pave the way for so many who would follow.'' _ Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, who was endorsed by Powell, a Republican, in 2008 and 2012.

Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton

``The son of immigrants, he rose to the top levels of military, civilian, and non-governmental service through intelligence, character, and the ability to see the big picture and attend to the smallest details. He lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help our country, especially our young people, live up to its own ideals and noblest aspirations at home and around the world.'' _ Former President Bill Clinton and former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kamala Harris

``Secretary Colin Powell dedicated his life to defending our nation. As National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, he was an independent thinker and a barrier breaker who inspired leaders in our military and throughout our nation.'' _ Vice President Kamala Harris, the first black woman to serve as vice president.

Antony Blinken

``He gave the State Department the very best of his leadership, his experience, his patriotism. He gave us his decency, and the State Department loved him for it.`` _ Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Condoleezza Rice

``Colin Powell spent the entirety of his life in service to his country. He was a trusted colleague and a dear friend through some very challenging times.'' _ Former Bush national security adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Nancy Pelosi

``General Colin Powell was a patriot: serving our country in uniform, leading at the highest levels of American government and blazing a trail for generations to come. His leadership strengthened America and his life embodied the American Dream.'' _ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Derrick Johnson

``Colin Powell lived a life of honor and integrity. A four-star general, the first Black US Secretary of State, and an NAACP Spingarn Medal recipient. He was a good man who inspired many.'' _ NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

Portia Simpson-Miller

``He was an outstanding soldier and diplomat.'' _ former Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, who called Powell, born in the U.S. to Jamaican parents, a ``son of Jamaica.''

Heiko Maas

``In Colin (hash)Powell the United States loses a straight-talking foreign policy official -- and we Europeans a trans-Atlantic bridge builder. As a general during the time of (German) reunification he had close ties to our country in particular.'' _ German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a tweet.

Andrew Rich

``No words seem adequate at this moment. This school is his. He was our leader and our friend. His pride in this place gave all of us strength, and we are heartbroken.'' _ Andrew Rich, dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York.

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