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News :: Government & Elections : Peace & War

Former UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook Dies of Heart Attack

Cook resigned to avoid any association with the dossier on Iraq's WMD August 6, 2005
Apparently in the best of health, Robin Cook collapsed while walking through his favorite hills in Scotland. Less than 2 hours later, after having been flown by helicopter to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, Cook was declared dead at 4:00pm GMT 1. Cook enjoyed a long and vigorous career as a labor party leader. Outspoken, as always, in his views on attacking Iraq, he resigned from Tony Blair's government on March 17, 2003. Since then, he has continued to speak out against the war, and against the deception that led the UK into a war "...for reasons of US foreign policy and Republican domestic politics."

Cook was known for his integrity and clarity, sometimes at the expense of diplomacy. In his short life of 59 years, he lived through several epochal events. He was present at the ceremony for the handover of Hong Kong, and played an instrumental role in what he called "the defence of Kosovo"

Updates shortly, until then, the official press release from Prime Minister Tony Blair:

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaynor and all Robin's family. This news will be received with immense sadness, not just in Britain but in many parts of the world.

Robin was an outstanding, extraordinary talent - brilliant, incisive, a debater of incredible skill and persuasive power. As Foreign Secretary, then the Leader of the House, we were close colleagues. He was always stimulating, energetic and of course grasped every detail of his brief.

I remember at European Councils his amazing capacity for the right intervention at the right time to bring about progress, a tremendous support and help.

He played a crucial role as Foreign Secretary, redefining Britain's position in Europe, developing Britain's strong commitment on aid and human rights and was instrumental in bringing justice to Kosovo.

Though we disagreed over Iraq, I always respected the way in which he put his case.

As a strong supporter of constitutional change, he was key to pushing through the new constitutional settlement in Britain. He was a great advocate of parliamentary reform.

His contribution to the politics of Britain was hugely significant.

He will be missed and mourned by all of us.

Still no word of what may have led to his abrupt demise.

David Roknich



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