12/05/2013 05:17 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

World Leaders React To Nelson Mandela's Death


South Africa's iconic leader Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday. Mandela was 95 and had spent months in the hospital earlier this year for a recurring lung infection.

Leaders around the world expressed their condolences in the wake of the announcement, reminding the world of the strength and the compassion that characterized South Africa's remarkable leader.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced the death of Mandela. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," Zuma said, according to CNN. "He is now resting, he is now at peace," Zuma added.

Speaking from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama said "Mandela has achieved more than could be expected of any man, he lives for the ages." Obama added:

We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with. He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages... His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was one of the first to express his grief on Twitter, calling Mandela "a hero of our time." Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also took to twitter:

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo described Mandela as "a man who brought hope, a true hero who will keep inspiring us."

Take a look at the slideshow below for more reactions from around the world.