The United Nations Security Council on Friday held a minute’s silence for former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated while campaigning, and Angolan ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in Spain.

Diplomats stood in silence to pay their respects to the two politicians at the UN headquarters in New York before debating a resolution on cross-border aid to Syria.

Brazil’s ambassador to the UN, Ronaldo Costa Filho, presiding over the meeting, said the council members sent their “condolences and deepest sympathy” to the families of Abe and Santos.

In a statement, a UN spokesman said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “saddened by the horrific killing” of Abe.

“He will be remembered as a staunch defender of multilateralism, respected leader, and supporter of the United Nations,” the statement added.

Abe, 67, was killed by a gunman who opened fire at close range as the hugely influential politician delivered a campaign speech.

He held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020.

Santos, who ruled Angola with an iron fist for 38 years, died on Friday at a hospital in Barcelona after suffering cardiac arrest, the government said. He was 79.

Guterres offered his “condolences” to Santos’ family, according to a separate statement.

“During his tenure, Angola became an important regional and international partner and advocate for multilateralism,” a spokesman for Guterres said.

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By Tochi

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