French and European flags fly at half mast to mourn late former French President Jacques Chirac at the National Assembly in Paris, France, on Sept. 26, 2019. France’s former President Jacques Chirac died on Thursday at the age of 86. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday evening declared next Monday, Sept. 30, a national day of mourning for former President Jacques Chirac, who passed away Thursday morning at age 86.
In a nationally televised speech paying tribute to his predecessor, Macron lauded Chirac as a statesman who “incarnated a certain ideal of France” and “a great Frenchman loving our land, our history and our culture.”
The national day of mourning will include a requiem mass at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris. Condolences may be offered at the Elysee Palace from Thursday evening until Sunday, the French presidency said.
Chirac had been active in French politics for over half a century. He was a two-term president (1995-2007), served twice as prime minister and for nearly two decades as mayor of Paris.
He was also well known overseas. In 2003, he defiantly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He stood for a “multipolar world” and called for closer ties with Asia and Africa.