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Putin among world leaders paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Condolences have poured in from around the world – even from Russian president Vladimir Putin – after the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at the age of 96.

Despite the tensions over the war in Ukraine, Mr Putin reached out to Britain’s new king, King Charles III in a telegram.

He wrote: “The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty. For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

“I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss. I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain.”

Pope Francis sent heartfelt condolences to the royal family (Alessandra Tarantino/PA)

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth and said she will be “deeply missed”.

In a statement, Mr Higgins said he was expressing his “heartfelt sympathy” to the royal family on behalf of the people of Ireland.

Pope Francis also used a telegram to Charles to say that he is praying for “eternal rest” for his mother.

The pontiff offered “heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”.

Francis, who met the queen in 2014, said: “I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her unstinting service to the good of the nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”

Israeli president Isaac Herzog said: “She lived history, she made history. And with her passing, she leaves a magnificent, inspirational legacy,”

In India, once a British colony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called her “a stalwart of our times”.

“She personified dignity and decency in public life,” Mr Modi tweeted.

She was mourned across the 54-nation Commonwealth, a group built around Britain and its former colonies.

“For most Canadians, we have known no other sovereign,” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

The queen’s death comes as a growing number of British territories in the Caribbean seek to replace the monarch with their own heads of state amid demands that Britain apologise for its colonial-era abuses and award its former colonies slavery reparations.

Still, Caribbean leaders from Bermuda to Dominica and beyond mourned her death.

“Her passing ends an iconic 70-year reign and is a profound loss for the commonwealth of nations and the world,” tweeted Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister.

Minutes later, Bermuda premier David Burt noted that her reign “has spanned decades of such immense change for the United Kingdom and the world”.

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