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France makes salute to Nelson Mandela


18:16, July 18, 2013

PARIS, July 18 (Xinhua) -- France joined the world on Thursday to celebrate "the day of Nelson Mandela, who was 95 years today," said Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France.

In a statement released by the foreign minister's office, the French minister paid tribute to Mandela in favor of the dedication he made to "bring the freedom and dignity back to the people of the South Africa. "

"France extends its warm and friendly salute to Nelson Mandela," the top French diplomat said.

The world embraces the Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18. The Day was declared by the United Nations in 2009 to mark the former South African president's 67 years of public services.

Mandela, who served as South Africa's first black president from 1994 to 1999, has been hospitalized since June 8 for a recurring lung infection, his longest hospital stay in years. He will spend his 95th birthday on Thursday in a Pretoria hospital.

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