Obama compares 'hero of the world' Mandela to George Washington

Washington, June 30 (ANI): President Barack Obama called Nelson Mandela a 'hero of the world' while paying tribute to him during his visit to South Africa.

At a joint press conference with South African President Jacob Zuma, Obama spoke extensively about Mandela's legacy.

According to ABC News, Obama said Americans and people all around the world are with Nelson Mandela and his family and all of South Africans.

He added the struggle South Africa's struggle for freedom with Madiba's moral courage has been a personal inspiration to him and to the world.

The president's two-day visit to South Africa has been dominated by the Mandela vigil, giving Obama to speak about what Mandela means to Africa and the rest of the world.

He said that Mandela shows what was possible when a priority is placed on human dignity, respect for law, that all people are treated equally.

He added that what Mandela also stood for is that the well-being of the country is more important than the interests of any one person.

Obama continued that George Washington is admired because after two terms he said enough, 'I'm going back to being a citizen. There were no term limits, but he said I'm a citizen. I served my time. And it's time for the next person, because that's what democracy is about. And Mandela similarly was able to recognize that, despite how revered he was, that part of this transition process was greater than one person'.

According to the report, Obama will not visit the hospital to meet Mandela 'out of deference to Nelson Mandela's peace and comfort and the family's wishes'.

Obama spent about 25 minutes meeting with the Mandela family at the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory in Johannesburg.

He also spoke, via telephone, with Mandela's wife Graca Machel, who is with her husband at the hospital, the report added.

(ANI)

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