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Obama rings up Mandela`s widow

US President Barack Obama has called up Nelson Mandela`s widow Graca Machel to express condolences of the First family and the American people on passing away of the legendary anti-apartheid icon, the White House said.

PTI| Updated: Dec 07, 2013, 10:44 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has called up Nelson Mandela`s widow Graca Machel to express condolences of the First family and the American people on passing away of the legendary anti-apartheid icon, the White House said.

"The President thanked Mrs Machel for the profound influence that Nelson Mandela has had on him, and underscored the power of President Mandela`s example for the people of South Africa and the entire world," the White House said in a statement.

In a call made yesterday, Obama expressed gratitude and thanks for the joy that Graca Machel brought to Nelson Mandela`s life, and the commitment to a peaceful, fair, and loving world that she and Mandela shared, the statement said.

Later in the evening lighting a Christmas tree, Obama expressed special measure of gratitude for Mandela, whose death has thrown the world into collective mourning.

"This year, we give a special measure of gratitude for Nelson Mandela, a man who championed that generosity of spirit," Obama said.

"In his life, he blessed us with tremendous grace and unbelievable courage. And we are all privileged to live in a world touched by his goodness," Obama said.