Former Secretary of State dies
Washington (CNN) — Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher died Friday from complications of kidney and bladder cancer, his family said. He was 85.
As America’s chief diplomat for four years during President Bill Clinton’s administration, Christopher “eschewed confrontation in favour of negotiation with friend and foe alike,” according to a profile posted on the State Department website.
“The cause of peace and freedom and decency have never had a more tireless or tenacious advocate,” Clinton said in 1996 after Christopher announced he was stepping down from the post.
President Obama said he and the first lady were saddened to hear of the loss.
“Deeply dedicated to serving his country, Warren’s career ranged from the naval reserve in World War II to a clerkship at the Supreme Court to the practice of law and politics in California and Washington,” Obama said in a statement.
“And as President Clinton’s Secretary of State, he was a resolute pursuer of peace, leading negotiations with regard to the Middle East and the Balkans, including the Dayton Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia. Warren Christopher was a skillful diplomat, a steadfast public servant, and a faithful American,” the president said.
In 1981, Christopher received the Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian award — for his role in negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran while serving as deputy secretary of state for President Jimmy Carter.
Christopher — known as “Chris” to his friends — also oversaw the negotiation of the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian war.