The foreign press reported this Friday the death of former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio, aged 81, describing him as “one of the most prominent political figures of his generation” and highlighting positions held at the UN after presidential terms.

The US news agency Associated Press (AP) highlighted “his six-decade political career in Portugal”, along which, “as a center-left socialist and later as a United Nations diplomat, Sampaio was praised for his low-key and pragmatic profile,” adding: “He once said that he had always wanted to be a conductor.”

After two presidential terms (1996-206), United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Sampaio as his special envoy for the Fight Against Tuberculosis in 2006 and, the following year, Annan’s successor, Ban Ki-moon, appointed him High Representative of the UN for the Alliance of Civilizations (2007-2013).

Spanish agency Efe described Jorge Sampaio as “the former President of Portugal who held several high political positions in the early years of Portuguese democracy and dedicated his last years to supporting Syrian refugees”, referring to the Global Platform for Syrian Students, which he founded in 2013 and which he still chaired, with the aim of contributing to respond to the academic emergency that the conflict in Syria had created, leaving thousands of young people behind without access to education.

The French agency France-Presse also reported the death of the former Portuguese head of state, presenting him as “a socialist who later held various positions at the United Nations”, who suffered from heart problems and had been hospitalized since the end of August, and that the Socialist Government decided to decree three days of national mourning, starting on Saturday.

The Spanish daily El País called it “the last socialist who presided over the Republic of Portugal”, stressing that Sampaio, “also a former mayor of Lisbon and who, at 81, continued to be dedicated to helping in humanitarian crises, was the forerunner of political alliances on the left” no country.

Withdrawn from Portuguese political management, he continued to be very active in the international sphere and focused on helping in the multiple humanitarian crises that arose after different political failures”, wrote the newspaper.

“The proof of this was the last article he wrote, published on August 26 in Público newspaper, after the conquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban, where he announced a scholarship program for Afghan youth, through the organization he chaired”, needed El País.

The daily El Mundo also broke the news of Sampaio’s death, but in a more formal way, noting that “he was president of the Socialist Party and mayor of Lisbon in 1989 and held the presidency of the country between 1996 and 2006”.

In France, Le Monde wrote “Jorge Sampaio, the former Portuguese President, has died”, indicating that, before occupying the Presidency of the Republic, he “it clandestinely opposed the Salazar dictatorship, overthrown by the ‘Carnation Revolution’ in 1974”.

Le Figaro also gave the news of the death of the former Portuguese head of state, accompanied by a brief summary of his political career and the circumstances surrounding his death, related to the heart problems he suffered.

The news is also advanced by the daily The Guardian, but so far, only in its Nigerian edition, which quotes the news from the French agency AFP, saying that he died “Jorge Sampaio, a former President of the Portuguese Republic who later held various positions at the United Nations”.

The British Independent also highlights the death of the former Portuguese head of state, describing him as “one of the most prominent political figures of his generation”, citing the AP news.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, in Brazil, the daily Folha de São Paulo broke the news like this: “Jorge Sampaio, president of Portugal who used the ‘atomic bomb’ mechanism in Parliament, dies. Head of State who dissolved the Legislative in 2004, but made a reputation as a conciliator, died at the age of 81″.

The daily O Globo wrote: “Former Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio dies at the age of 81. Politico was head of State of Portugal between 1996 and 2006. He was also mayor of Lisbon and held positions at the UN. He suffered from severe heart problems and had been hospitalized since August”.

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