French President Macron commends late Tunisian President

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the state funeral of late Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi at the presidential palace in the capital's eastern suburb of Carthage, Saturday July 27, 2019. Many Tunisian and visiting international dignitaries have gathered for the funeral of Essebsi, the country's first elected head of state who died aged 92. (Fethi Belaid / Pool via AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron extolled the late Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi, describing him as a great President.

Macron was among several dignitaries who paid their last respect to the 92- year old leader, who died on Thursday July 25, shortly after he was hospitalized in Tunis.

Macron said Essebsi had “supported the stability of the constitution, commitment to freedom and openness and equality between women and men”.

You had a great president, who knew how to keep both wisdom of the accumulated decades.

“You had a great president, a very great president, who knew how to keep both the wisdom of the accumulated decades and a youth who gave in to nothing, a willingness to embrace the world as it was”, The French President said.

Tens of thousands of Tunisians marched through the streets of Tunis waving flags, singing the national anthem and throwing roses as the funeral procession passed towards the Al Jallaz cemetery where the former head of state was buried.

Dignitaries present for the funeral ceremony included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, King Felipe VI of Spain and Fayez Al-Saraj of Libya.

Essebsi contributed to Tunisia’s democratic transition after the 2011 revolution.

Hauwa Mustapha