Tributes continue for Ronald Reagan
World leaders and former political rivals continued to pay tribute to former U.S. president Ronald Reagan Sunday, crediting him for his role in ending the Cold War.
Reagan died at his California home Saturday at the age of 93 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said he was distraught to learn of Reagan's death.
"Reagan was a statesman who, despite all disagreements that existed between our countries at the time, displayed foresight and determination to meet our proposals halfway and change our relations for the better, stop the nuclear race, start scrapping nuclear weapons, and arrange normal relations between our countries," Gorbachev said in a statement.
- FROM JUNE 5, 2004: Former U.S. president Ronald Reagan dead
"Reagan bolstered the U.S. military might to ruin the Soviet economy, and he achieved his goal," said Gennady Gerasimov, who was the top spokesman for the Soviet Foreign Ministry during the 1980s.
At the D-Day ceremonies in Normandy, France, U.S. President George W. Bush paid tribute to Reagan during his address.
"Twenty summers ago another American president came here to Normandy to pay tribute to the men of D-Day,'' Bush said. "He was a courageous leader himself and a gallant leader in the cause of freedom, and today we honour the memory of Ronald Reagan.''
Prime Minister Paul Martin, speaking to Canadian reporters Sunday in Normandy, said "there's no doubt that the United States would be a very different country if it hadn't been for Ronald Reagan. It may well be that the Cold War would have been very different if it hadn't been for Ronald Reagan."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder praised Reagan, who challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall in in 1987, for creating the "conditions for change that in the end made the restoration of German unity possible."
Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, seen as Reagan's Conservative counterpart in Europe during the 1980s, said: "Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired."
Former President Jimmy Carter, who lost to Reagan in the 1980 election, said he admired Reagan's communication skills.
"President Reagan was a formidable political campaigner, who provided an inspirational voice to America when our people were searching for a clear message of hope and confidence. He had unshakeable beliefs and was able to express them effectively, both in America and abroad."
Reagan will have the first presidential state funeral in more than three decades since the death of former president Lyndon Johnson in 1973.
His body will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday at the Reagan library in Simi Valley, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles.
His remains will then be flown to Washington to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. The funeral, expected to attract a number of world leaders, will be held Friday at the National Cathedral in Washington at 11:30 a.m ET. The day is being designated a national day of mourning.