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World leaders join Thatcher praise


President Obama led world tributes to Margaret Thatcher (AP)

President Obama led world tributes to Margaret Thatcher (AP)


President Obama led world tributes to Margaret Thatcher (AP)

Global leaders have expressed praise and admiration for Margaret Thatcher as news spread of her death.

Across Europe and the world, leaders lauded Thatcher for her steely determination to modernise Britain's industrial landscape - even at the cost of violent strikes and riots - and to stand beside the United States as the west triumphed in the Cold War versus the Soviet Union.

President Barack Obama said she was both a great champion of freedom and an example to women everywhere.

He said Mrs Thatcher showed "our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered."

He added that many Americans remember her "shoulder to shoulder" with Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. He said she showed then that leaders don't have to be swept along by the currents of history, but can shape them "with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will."

In Poland, foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said his country should erect a statue of the British leader. He praised her as "a fearless champion of liberty, stood up for captive nations, helped free world win the Cold War."

Discordant notes came from Argentina, where Mrs Thatcher's reputation for unbending determination received an early test leading Britain into the 1982 war to reclaim the Falkland Islands from Argentine invaders.

Argentina's government offered no official reaction, but scores of Argentinians posted criticisms of her on Twitter, blaming her for the deaths of 649 Argentine troops during the South Atlantic conflict. Another 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders also died.

Falklands MP Mike Summers said Thatcher was "one of very few political leaders who could have mounted the expedition she mounted in 1982 to restore our freedom, and from a Falkland Islands perspective she will be forever remembered for that."

PA Media