Chirac served as president of France for 12 years, from 1995 to 2007.
Rabat – Former French president Jacques Chirac died this morning, September 26, at his home surrounded by his family at the age of 86.
“President Jacques Chirac died this morning surrounded by his family, peacefully,” his son-in-law told AFP.
Chirac served two terms as president of the Republic of France from 1995 to 2007. His tenure as president was the 2nd longest after his predecessor Francois Mitterand’s 14 years of rule.
Under his term, Chirac launched several political reforms, including reducing the presidential term from 7 to 5 years through a referendum in 2000.
The French National Assembly has held a minute of silence in homage to Chirac.
Chirac was previously the Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988. He served as the Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Chirac also occupied various ministerial posts including Minister of Agriculture and Minister of the Interior.
The late former president was known for standing against the American-led assault on Iraq and recognizing the French government’s role in deporting Jews during World War II.
In December 2011, the Paris court found Chirac guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence. He was convicted of a two-year-term suspended prison sentence.
In 2005, he suffered from a stroke. The debilitating stroke affected the former president’s memory.
Born on November 29, 1932, Chirac pursued an educational career in political studies, graduating from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 1953. After his graduation, he joined Harvard university’s summer school as an auditor.
In 1957, he entered the Ecole Nationale D’administration (ENA) where he trained as a reserve military officer.
After graduating from the ENA in 1959, he became a civil servant in the Court of Auditors.
Chirac was known for his friendly relationship with Morocco. The former president’s first foreign trip was to Morocco when he was newly elected as the new President of France in May 1995.
After winning his second presidential race in 2002, Chirac’s first foreign trip was to Morocco again, fostering diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Chirac’s relationship with Morocco was special, especially with late Moroccan King Hassan II. The former president used to visit the country every year accompanied by his wife Bernadette.
During his travels to Morocco, Chirac frequently visited the southern provinces of Morocco, especially Taroudant and Agadir. He used to sit with the locals to learn about regional and local cultures and ways of life.
When late King Hassan II passed away in July 1999, Chirac traveled to Morocco to personally present his condolences to the Royal family.