Late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

United in grief, neighbours offer condolences on Vajpayee's demise

ANI | Updated: Aug 18, 2018 00:38 IST

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): Representatives of India's neighbouring countries on Friday offered their condolences to the Indian government on the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
During their one-on-one meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj following the last rites of Vajpayee, the leaders expressed their grief over the death of the veteran leader.
A string of foreign dignitaries including King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Sri Lanka's acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella and former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai were in New Delhi to attend the last rites of Vajpayee on Friday.
During his meeting with Swaraj, Karzai offered condolences on the demise of Vajpayee and had a discourse on Vajpayee's role in 'consolidating democracy in Afghanistan'.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali recalled Vajpayee's contribution in consolidating India-Bangladesh friendship. Vajpayee was conferred with the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour.
Acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kiriella extended his support to India in the time of grief. Referring to Vajpayee as 'an ardent defender of democracy', Kiriella recalled his contribution in ensuring stability in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan's caretaker Minister of Law and Justice Syed Ali Zafar also extended condolences on the passing away of Vajpayee while Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali termed Vajpayee's death as the loss of a 'visionary leader'. In the meeting, the two leaders vowed to continue to work for the strengthening of the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal to honour Vajpayee.
The former prime minister breathed his last on Thursday after a prolonged illness at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). He was cremated with full state honours in Delhi's Smriti Sthal on Friday. (ANI)