Wartime figure and former PM dies at 91

30th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 30, 2007 (AFP) - Pierre Messmer, a former French prime minister who fought under general Charles de Gaulle to free his country from Nazi rule, died Wednesday in Paris aged 91, hospital officials said.

PARIS, Aug 30, 2007 (AFP) - Pierre Messmer, a former French prime minister who fought under general Charles de Gaulle to free his country from Nazi rule, died Wednesday in Paris aged 91, hospital officials said.

Following the French surrender to Nazi Germany in 1940, Messmer travelled to London to join De Gaulle's army in exile, the Free French Forces, battling to oust German troops and their allies in Libya and Egypt and finally Paris.

After the end of World War II, Messmer held several posts in French colonial Africa, before being named minister of the armies under De Gaulle in 1960, and prime minister under president Georges Pompidou from 1972 to 1974.

President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to "the magnificent fighter who was one of the first to join general De Gaulle", as "a man of duty, a man of conviction" and "one of the most illustrious children of our republic".

"France has just lost one of its greatest servants and the entire nation bends to salute his memory," said a statement from Sarkozy's office.

AFP

Subject: French news

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