Egypt’s president has led the funeral procession for the country’s veteran diplomat and former chief of the UN Boutros Boutros-Ghali as he was laid to rest with full state honours.
Abdel Fatah al-Sisi walked at the front of the cortege as a horse-drawn hearse carried the flag-draped coffin.
Boutros-Ghali was a scion of a prominent Christian political family: the head of Egypt’s Coptic Church attended the service in Cairo, along with senior church dignitaries. The Coptic patriarch, HH Pope Tawadros II, said Egypt was bidding farewell to “this fine example in Egyptian life and in Egyptian history”.
The diplomat, who died on Tuesday at the age of 93, helped negotiate Egypt’s peace deal with Israel, signed in 1979, but then clashed with the US when he served a single term as the UN’s secretary general. He was the UN’s first chief from the African continent.
He is survived by his Jewish wife, Leia Maria. They had no children.
The current UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, described him as a respected statesman and scholar of international law who brought “formidable experience and intellectual power” to the job.
He headed the world body during one of its most difficult periods marked by crises in Somalia, Rwanda, the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.
President Sisi leading the funeral procession
HH Pope Tawadros speech at the funeral
HG Bishop Ermia “Jeremiah” participate in funeral prayers
Mounir Fakhry Abd ElNour speech at the funeral Michaëlle Jean speech at the funeral
Irina Bokova Director-General of the UNESCO speech at the funeral
Amr Moussa speech at the funeral The moment HH Pope Tawadros arrived to the church to begin the prayers