ANKARA – Condolences are pouring in from around the world after the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
Britain's longest-serving monarch died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.
"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," said the palace, adding that her successor King Charles III and Camilla, the queen consort, “will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."
UN, NATO, EU leaders
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply saddened” at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, adding that she was “admired worldwide for her leadership and devotion.”
“She was a good friend to the UN and a reassuring presence through decades of change,” Guterres tweeted.
“Her unwavering, lifelong dedication will be long remembered,” he added.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Queen Elizabeth II exemplified “selfless leadership and public service” over more than 70 years.
“My deepest condolences to the Royal Family, to our #NATO Allies the United Kingdom and Canada, and to the people of the Commonwealth,” he said.
European Council President Charles Michel said his thoughts are “with the royal family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide.”
“Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment,” Michel said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she learned about the death of the queen with “deep sadness.”
“She was the world’s longest serving Head of State and one of the most respected personalities worldwide,” she said in a written statement, adding: “I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and the British people.”
EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the queen’s “remarkable reign” oversaw key events of the 20th and 21st centuries.
“The EU pays tribute to her unique contribution to building peace & reconciliation,” Borrell said on Twitter. “While her loss will be felt around the world, our immediate thoughts are with her family and the people of the UK.”
Recalling her ‘sympathy and personal kindness’
In a statement, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also offered his “deepest condolences.”
“In particular, we recall the sympathy and personal kindness she extended to Australians afflicted by tragedy and disaster,” the statement said.
“Throughout it all, she was a monarch who let her humanity show, performing her duty with fidelity, integrity and humour,” it added.
On Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years.”
“I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century,” he added.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his nation mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“She was a role model and inspiration for millions, also here in Germany,” he said. “Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgotten. She will be missed, not least her wonderful humour.”
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extended his "sincere condolences" to the royal family, the entire UK, and the British Commonwealth over the "irreparable loss."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you," he said on Twitter.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson expressed her condolences after hearing that the long-serving monarch had died.
Andersson told a press conference that her death deserves "a moment of reflection."
"I think we've all been through transformative world events, but there are few who have been through as many as Queen Elizabeth," she said.
Russian president extends condolences
In a letter, Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his condolences to Britain’s new King Charles III, saying: “Your Majesty, Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.”
“The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty. For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage,” Putin said in the letter posted on the Kremlin website.
He wished “courage and perseverance” to Charles “in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss.”
“I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain,” he added.
‘End of an era’
Israel's President Isaac Herzog said Elizabeth's death marks the "end of an era."
"Together with the Israeli people, I grieve her loss and extend my deepest sympathies to the British people and all nations of the Commonwealth, who have lost their matriarch," Herzog said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi also offered condolences to the British people and government.
"I am totally confident that King Charles III will fill the vacuum to be left by the departure of the Queen Elizabeth II," al-Sisi tweeted.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was "deeply grieved" over the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
"Pakistan joins the UK and other Commonwealth nations in mourning her death. My heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, people & government of the UK," he wrote on Twitter.
Malawi’s President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera extended his condolences to the royal family, the people, and the government of Britain on the passing of the queen, who was also the queen of Malawi between 1964 and 1966 as the small southern African country was transitioning into a republic.
"For us as a nation, her inimitable legacy as a friend of Malawi will forever be etched on our hearts and indelibly marked on the pages of our history, a history she positively shaped in more ways than we can put into words,” said Chakwera in a statement.
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye said Elizabeth had been an inspiration for generations around the world and will be remembered for her great leadership.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Royal family and the friendly people of the United Kingdom,” he said.
'A remarkable life'
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa joined world leaders in extending his condolences to King Charles III on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
"Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life," Ramaphosa said in a statement.
Ramaphosa also said the queen's life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world.
In a statement, Kenyan President-elect William Ruto, who is set to be sworn in next Tuesday, hailed Elizabeth, saying that her leadership of the Commonwealth for the past seven decades was admirable.
"She steered the institution’s evolution into a forum for effective multilateral engagement whose potential to drive tremendous socioeconomic progress remains incontestable and redounds to the Queen’s historic legacy,” Ruto said.
Queen Elizabeth II learned of the death of his father King George VI – the event which led to her taking the throne – during an official visit to Kenya on Feb. 6, 1952.
On Twitter, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema expressed his condolences, saying: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal family and the people of the U.K. during this difficult period.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari mourned the passing of the queen, saying in a written statement: "My family and I, and the more than 200 million Nigerians have learned with immense sadness of the passing of the Queen and the end of her unique and wonderful 70 year reign."
"Her late Majesty was the only British Sovereign known to 90 percent of our population," it added.
'Unique stature and iconic role'
Rwandan President Paul Kagame also said: "In this moment of sorrow at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we recall her 70 years of stewardship of the Commonwealth of Nations," extending his condolences to the entire Royal Family, people of the UK and the Commonwealth.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a tweet: "I pass my deepest condolences & that of my nation to the government, people & Royal family of the UK on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."
Mohamud said “the queen represented her nation & citizens with great honour & dignity at home & on the world stage throughout her reign."
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe said the sadness at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II goes beyond Great Britain to the whole world, “as the late Queen was undoubtedly a universal figure of her country's influence and friendship towards peoples worldwide.”
"I am extending my thoughts and prayers and those of the people and government of Togo to the Royal Family, and heartfelt condolences to the British people and the great Commonwealth family,” he said.
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya expressed his "deep sadness" at the queen’s passing, saying on Twitter that her loss "affects the Commonwealth of Nations, given her unique stature and iconic role throughout history."
Also on Twitter, Ali Bongo Odimba, the president of Gabon, which recently joined the Commonwealth, called the queen "a friend of Africa where she was loved back."
"Tonight, the big Commonwealth family, of which Gabon is a part, is in mourning," he added.
Alassane Ouattara, president of Ivory Coast, on Twitter, hailed the memory of Elizabeth, calling her an "exceptional stateswoman with great human qualities".
On social media, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo extended his deepest condolences on the passing of the queen.
“The Ghanaian people have very fond memories of the two visits she made to Ghana during her reign (1961 and 1999), and, on both occasions, we remember the friendliness, elegance, style and sheer joy she brought to the performance of her duties,” he wrote.
He added: “We shall miss her inspiring presence, her calm, her steadiness, and, above all, her great love and belief in the higher purpose of the Commonwealth of Nations, and in its capacity to be a force for good in our world.” (Anadolu)