World leaders pay tribute to the late Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

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World leaders have reacted to the passing of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with some praising – including Russia President Vladimir Putin offering effusive praise.

Berlusconi (86) lost a battle against leukaemia.

Berlusconi led four governments until 2011, becoming the longest serving prime minister in post-war Italy. The controversial leader also faced sex scandals and corruption cases. He has been granted a state funeral which will be held on Wednesday.

Leading the tributes from world leaders is Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni who says Berlusconi was above all a fighter, a man who was never afraid to defend his beliefs.

Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin says the late former Italian leader was a dear person, a true friend and he always admired his wisdom.

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban says a great fighter is gone.

While British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson further honoured Berlusconi and says he made a huge impact on Italian politics.

Soccer club AC Milan lauded the late Italian leader and thanked him for serving his country.