Tributes are pouring in from world leaders and diplomats over the passing of renowned Czech immigrant and first US female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Albright died from cancer, as confirmed by her family on Wednesday, March 23.
First female US secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, dies at 84, was a top American diplomat and long-time foreign policy veteran during the Clinton administration and was often referred to as “a champion of democracy” particular given her role to end the ethnic conflict in Kosovo
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, were among the first to second their condolences.
“Few leaders have been so perfectly suited for the times in which they served.
“Because she knew first-hand that America’s policy decisions had the power to make a difference in people’s lives around the world, she saw her jobs as both an obligation and an opportunity,” the Clintons said.
Another former US President, George W Bush, was full of encomiums for late Albright for her grasp of the essence of world freedom and peace.
According to Bush, Albright “understood first-hand the importance of free societies for peace in our world”.
Yet another former US President Barack Obama, offer a snippet of how much the US valued her role in tackling troubles in some of the world’s unstable areas.
Obama, who described Albright’s career as ‘trailblazing’ noted that she “paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world, and was a champion for democratic values. And as an immigrant herself, she brought a unique and important perspective to her trailblazing career,” Obama said in a statement.
In his tribute, Nato’s current Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, referred to Albright as an advocate of freedom. According to Stoltenberg, the former diplomat “was a force for freedom” and an “outspoken champion of Nato”.
Across the Atlantic, UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, noted that Albright’s values are what the world requires now than ever before. In her words, the world “needs to stand by” Albright’s values “more than ever,” she tweeted.
Polish President, Andrzej Duda, twitted that he was saddened by Albright’s passing as she “brought enormous contribution to the transatlantic community of security and of values, including to the accession of Poland and of other European countries to NATO.”
Czech foreign minister, Jan Lipavsky, who expressed a heartfelt condolence to her immediate family, described her as, ‘strong a strong advocate for democracy & human rights. Today more than ever, Central Europe remembers her commitment to NATO enlargement.’
“A Czechoslovak born leader,” he added.
The United Nations, where Albright had served as US ambassador from 1993 to 1997, held a moment of silence for her.
Albright came to the United States as an 11-year-old political refugee and subsequently evolved to serve as the country’s top diplomat under president Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001.
She was born in 1937 in Prague to a Jewish family. Albeit, she was unaware of her heritage until later in life. She however, fled ahead of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, losing several family members to extermination camps, moving first to England, then to America a decade later.