Washington: Mourning the death of Fidel Castro, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today said the Cuban leader was an "emblematic figure" of the Cuban revolution.
"Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education, literacy and health. I hope Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity," Ban said in Ashgabat.
Extending his deepest condolences to the Cuban people and to the family of Castro Ban vividly recall his meeting with the former president when he visited Cuba in January 2014.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Ban said he was saddened to learn of the death of Castro.
"An emblematic figure of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro was prominent in Latin America and influential in world affairs," it said.
"As Prime Minister, President, Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, his role at the helm of Cuba spanned nearly 50 years, during which he left a major imprint on his country and on global politics," said the statement.
"He was a strong voice for social justice in global discussions at the UN General Assembly and international and regional forums. The Secretary-General vividly recalls meeting him during a visit to Cuba in January 2014, and was impressed by the former President's passion and lively engagement on a wide range of issues," the statement said.
Ban hoped that Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform, greater prosperity and human rights.