WASHINGTON, July 29 : US President Barack Obama as well as his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have joined the global leaders in condoling the death of India's missile man APJ Abdul Kalam, saying he was an inspiration to millions of Indians and had admirers around the world.
"On behalf of the American people, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the people of India on the passing of former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam," Obama said.
"A scientist and statesman, Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India's most accomplished leaders,
earning esteem at home and abroad," the US President said in a statement yesterday.
President Putin said that in Russia Kalam will be remembered as a consistent exponent of closer friendly relations between the two nations who has done a lot for cementing mutually beneficial Russian-Indian cooperation. "Kalam rightly enjoyed high international authority as an outstanding scientist and a wise statesman," Putin said in letters to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.
Kalam, 83, died on Monday after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during a lecture at the IIM Shillong.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the last rites of former president A P J Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram tomorrow, whose demise he described today as a loss of "Ratna (gem) of Bharat". ?PTI