ATHENS — "Nelson Mandela was the leader of the movement for the human rights of the citizens of South Africa but also the entire African continent," Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a videotaped message at an event organised by the Marianna Vardinogiannis Foundation.
"With his ethical principles and his struggle, he found himself at the helm of a universal, timeless struggle. The universal struggle for freedom, equality, dignity, democracy and respect for human rights. He became not only a symbol of the oppressed peoples of Africa but also of all people fighting for their dignity. He was an emblematic leader in world history. A source of inspiration for the entire world, for all generations," said Dendias.
Looking to the future, the foreign minister added, Mandela believed in a struggle that would allow not just prevailing but also a great victory. "The victory of reconciliation, and the functioning of a multi-racial democracy in the post-apartheid era. He chose to turn his own life into a symbol of the struggle against apartheid but also of the greater struggle for reconciliation between people."
Sakellaropoilou stresses importance of Mandela's legacy for younger generations
Addressing the same event, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou referred to legacy that Nelson Mandela left for younger generations, for the consolidation of democracy and respect for human dignity and human rights.
The event took place in the context of the upcoming celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18 and Sakellaropoulou emphasised both the lessons from the life and work of the South African leader and what the international community must do in the present day in order to eradicate inequalities and all forms of discrimination and oppression.