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Venezuelan president extends condolences on passing of Iranian counterpart

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 20,2024
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (L) and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (R) / AFP File Photo

The Venezuelan president on Monday expressed condolences to Iran and its supreme leader Ali Khamenei over the demise of his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, saying he was an "unconditional friend" of Venezuela.

Nicolas Maduro said he is "shocked" by the passing of Raisi, who was elected in 2021.

"Cilia, who is a friend of his wife's, and I are "deeply saddened" for having to say goodbye to an exemplary person, an extraordinary leader of the world, who will always be an excellent human being, a defender of his people's sovereignty, and an unconditional friend of our country," Maduro said on X.

"A heartfelt hug from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. You, Iran, are an example of dignity, morality and resistance," Maduro added.

After a night-long search operation hampered by bad weather, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other top officials have been declared dead.

Dozens of emergency rescue teams had been dispatched to the mountainous area in northwestern Iran's East Azerbaijan province, where the incident took place on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Iranian Constitution, the first vice president-Mohammad Mokhber-will assume powers of the presidency and elections be held within 50 days.