Erbil (IraqiNews.com) – Prime Minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region Nechirvan Barzani has expressed his sorrow over the passing of U.S. Senator John McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81 after a long battle with brain cancer.
In his condolence message, Barzani termed McCain as a “brilliant politician, a prominent U.S. figure and a loyal friend of the Kurdish people.”
“On this sad occasion, I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Barzani said, expressing hope that God would forgive him and help his family overcome this difficult time.
Barzani further described McCain’s death as a “big loss to the Kurdish people,” clarifying that the late U.S. senator was always keen to achieve and protect the interests of the Kurdish people and help them attain their legitimate rights.
“The Kurdish people will never forget the loyalty and support of McCain and will honor his memorial service forever,” Barzani stressed.
McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, died on Saturday afternoon at the age of 81, his office said.
“At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years,” said a statement from his office.
According to CNN, McCain told his family he did not want President Donald Trump to attend his funeral.
Flags were flying at half-staff at the White House on Sunday morning, hours after Trump tweeted his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family.