The Latest: Germany’s Merkel pays tribute to Sen. McCain

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the death of Sen. John McCain (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is paying tribute to Sen. John McCain as “one of the great political personalities of our time.”

The 81-year-old Republican senator died at his ranch in Arizona on Saturday after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. Merkel offered her condolences in a statement tweeted Sunday by her spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

She says that McCain was “a tireless fighter for a strong trans-Atlantic alliance; his significance went well beyond his own country.”

Merkel says, “John McCain was led by the firm conviction that the sense of all political work lies in service to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. His death is a loss to all those who share this conviction.”


7:25 a.m.

People in Vietnam are remembering Sen. John McCain as having played an important role in normalizing relations between their country and the United States.

McCain was captured in 1967 when he parachuted into Hanoi’s Truc Bach Lake after his Navy aircraft was shot down during a bombing mission. He spent over five years in the prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton.”

On Sunday, a memorial was held at the lake, with residents leaving flowers to remember McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81.

One resident, Nguyen Van Trung, says McCain “fought for peace in many countries, including Vietnam.”

Another resident, Hoang Thi Trang, says that to the Vietnamese people, McCain “was not only a companion in resolving postwar issues, but also a friend.”


6:40 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) is paying tribute to the late John McCain and says the senator’s voice will be missed.

Macron has tweeted in English that McCain “was a true American hero. He devoted his entire life to his country.”

McCain died Saturday at age 81.


5:45 a.m.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has expressed her condolences over the death of Sen. John McCain, saying she will remember him as a friend and a fighter.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said Sunday that Tsai thanked McCain for endorsing bills in Congress that supported Taiwan and for defending democracy around the world.

Tsai said his death marked the “great loss of an important friend of Taiwan” in the U.S.

Under Tsai’s leadership, the self-governed island democracy has come under increasing pressure from Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has sought to isolate it on the global stage.

Tsai said in a Tweet: “He never backed down from his beliefs & forever strived for a more peaceful & prosperous world.”


5:40 a.m.

Germany’s foreign minister says Sen. John McCain stood for an America that is a “reliable” partner.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas paid tribute to the Republican senator in a statement issued in Berlin on Sunday. McCain died at his ranch in Arizona on Saturday after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

Maas said that “he stood for an America that is a reliable and close partner. An America that takes responsibility for others out of strength, and stands by its values and principles even in difficult moments — and bases its claim to leadership on that.”

He added that “we will remember his voice.”


5:40 a.m.

Pakistan has offered its condolences over the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain, saying he will be “greatly missed.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement Sunday that McCain had “always stood for strong Pakistan-U.S. relations and a cooperative approach for promoting peace and building stability in the region.”

As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain made many visits to the region. In a visit to Pakistan last year, he said there could be no peace in neighboring Afghanistan without Pakistan’s cooperation.

Pakistani officials say McCain often worked to ease tensions between Pakistan and the United States. The U.S. has repeatedly urged Pakistan to do more to crack down on Islamic militants operating along the porous Afghan border.


4 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country salutes Sen. John McCain as a “great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel.”

Netanyahu says Sunday he is deeply saddened by McCain’s passing at the age of 81 and will always treasure his friendship.

McCain was a frequent visitor to Israel who backed it in the Senate and strongly opposed the nuclear ambitions and militancy of its archrival Iran.

Netanyahu says McCain’s “support for Israel never wavered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom.”

Other tributes poured in from across the Israeli political spectrum. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called McCain one of Israel’s greatest friends. Yair Lapid, head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, lauded McCain as “a soldier with integrity in a world of politicians.”


3 a.m.

Arizona residents are paying respects to the late Sen. John McCain.

Some drove their cars and parked along Interstate 17 on Saturday night as a hearse traveled from McCain’s home near Sedona down to Phoenix.

Molly Anderson and her 12-year-old daughter Ava Burden met up with the procession after it arrived at a mortuary in Phoenix where dozens had gathered. They brought candles to place outside the facility.

Anderson, who is an unaffiliated voter, says she respected how McCain stood up for his own ideas.

“The word that pops into my head the most with him is ‘integrity,’ ” she said.

McCain is expected to be honored in Arizona and in Washington before being laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.


2 a.m.

A former Vietnamese ambassador to Washington, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, says Sen. John McCain played an important role in normalizing relations between the U.S. and the communist country, where he was held prisoner of war for more than five years.

Coung wrote on his Facebook page that McCain was very proud of the monument erected by Vietnam at the Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi where his fighter jet was shot down and he was taken prisoner. He also recalled that McCain asked the Vietnamese to correct the inscription that identified him as an Air Force instead of a Navy pilot.

Coung wrote, “Each time during his visit to Vietnam, he often took other senators and friends to the monument.”

Coung says there were times when McCain expressed concern that after he and Sen. John Kerry were gone, a new generation of American lawmakers would not fully understand the care with which to promote Vietnam-U.S. relations, and so he made a point to bring young senators with him on his visits to the Southeast Asian nation.


12:40 a.m.

Sen. John McCain is being remembered for his service in war and in Congress by presidents and lawmakers. The longtime Arizona Republican died Saturday after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

President Donald Trump has offered his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family.

The man who defeated McCain for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama, says they shared a fidelity to American ideals. McCain’s opponent for the GOP nomination in 2000, George W. Bush, calls his former political rival a “man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

McCain is expected to be honored in Arizona and Washington before being buried, likely this coming week, at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland. Bush is among those expected to speak at McCain’s funeral.

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