Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

Tributes from friends and foes for last Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze

Published on Jul 8, 2014 10:32 AM
US President Bill Clinton (left) and first lady Hillary Clinton (right) sit with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in Washington, 1997. Tributes poured in from friends and foes for former Georgian president Shevardnadze, who died on Monday aged 86. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TBILISI (AFP) - Former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who helped end the Cold War as the Soviet Union's last foreign minister, died on Monday aged 86, with tributes pouring in from friends and foes.

Shevardnadze was a controversial figure praised for his role in negotiating a bloodless end to the Soviet Union's confrontation with the West, but despised at home for his 10 years at the helm of post-Soviet Georgia that saw him ousted in a popular uprising.

"Mr Shevardnadze died today at noon," his aide Marina Davitashvili told AFP, weeping. "He was ill for a long time."

He won high praise on the world stage for his time as Mikhail Gorbachev's chief diplomat, when he oversaw arms-reduction treaties with the United States and brokered the deal that brought down the Berlin Wall.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!