Antananarivo [Madagascar], March 30 (ANI): Madagascar's former President Didier Ratsiraka, who had contributed significantly to advancing India-Madagascar relations during his presidency, passed away in Antananarivo on Sunday at the age of 84.
Ratsiraka was President of Madagascar from 1975 to 1993 and from 1997 to 2002. He had visited India in 1980 on a bilateral state visit and in 1983 to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, according to a press statement.
"Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of the former President Didier Ratsiraka today morning. His immense contribution to strengthening India-Madagascar relations will be fondly remembered. My deepest condolences to his family, the people and Govt. of Madagascar," tweeted India's Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar on March 28.
Ratsiraka was a champion of the NAM movement and admired Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi. Two different streets in the centre of Antananarivo carry the name of Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi, the statement said.
Madagascar declared a day of mourning in the honour of passing away of the former President.
He was buried at the National Mausoleum at a ceremony held in Iavoloha presidential palace in Madagascar yesterday which was attended by President Andry Rajoelina, Ministers and the diplomatic community in Antananarivo. (ANI)