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EU Commissioners observe silence to Mandela

Updated: 2013-12-10 21:41
( Xinhua)

BRUSSELS - The European Commissioners on Monday observed a minute's silence as a tribute to Nelson Mandela at a meeting.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will attend the State Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, said an EU press release.

"It is with great emotion that I am in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela, a global symbol of peace and reconciliation,"said Barroso.

"The world community owes a debt of gratitude to this great statesman and human being. The outpouring of emotion in Africa," he said "Europe and all over the world on the passing away of Madiba is a testament to his influence across the globe."

The former South African president was released from hospital in early September following an 85-day stay for a recurring lung infection, the result of his longtime imprisonment during the apartheid times.

Last Friday, EU Flags were flying at half mast at the European Commission and the European Parliament as Europe pays tribute to Mandela who spent 27 years in jail to defend freedom and defeat racism.