Chirac pays tribute to Prince Rainer

6th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 6 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday expressed his "great sadness" after the death of Monaco's Prince Rainier, pledging to work with Prince Albert to strengthen ties between the two states.

PARIS, April 6 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday expressed his "great sadness" after the death of Monaco's Prince Rainier, pledging to work with Prince Albert to strengthen ties between the two states.

"His Most Serene Highness Prince Rainier III was a figure who was universally respected and very loved in the principality," Chirac said in a message to Albert, who will succeed his father as Monaco's ruler.

"His courage and tenacity in the face of illness will remain with us as an example," the French president said.

"In the high and noble task that has now fallen to Your Most Serene Highness, be assured that you will find in France, and in me personally, all the friendship and attention that you could want to maintain and reinforce the close ties that unite our two countries," Chirac wrote.

Rainier died Wednesday at the age of 81, the end of a long battle with heart, lung and kidney problems.

Flags on French government buildings were to be flown at half-mast on Wednesday in honor of Rainier, government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Flags will also be flown at half-mast on the day of Rainier's funeral, which has not yet been announced.

In a statement, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin hailed Rainier for helping the principality to "join the international arena".

© AFP

Subject: French News

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