Mukherjee condoles death of former Portuguese President Soares

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday condoled the death of former Portuguese President Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares.

In a message to his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Mukherjee extended his “heartfelt condolences on behalf of the government and people of India”, said a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique.

Mukherjee said that Soares will long be remembered as the founding father of democracy in Portugal and as a world figure, deeply appreciated for his contribution to human rights and world peace.

“We, in India, recall his central role in the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and India in 1974.

I would request you to please convey my deepest sympathies to the bereaved family of President Mario Soares and to the Government and people of Portugal at the loss of this respected leader,” he added.

Soares died in Lisbon at the age of 92, it was announced on Sunday.

He was admitted to a hospital in Lisbon two weeks ago where he died on Saturday of respiratory complications, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prime Minister from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985, he served as President from 1986 to 1996.