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Danish ex-foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen dies at 80

Mr Ellemann-Jensen is survived by his wife, Alice Vestergaard, their four children and 10 grandchildren.

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Former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen poses for a photo, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, in 2021 (Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen poses for a photo, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, in 2021 (Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen poses for a photo, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, in 2021 (Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Uffe Elleman-Jensen, Denmark’s foreign minister for more than 10 years and considered one of the Nordic region’s key politicians in the end phase of the Cold War, has died aged 80.

The conservative-liberal Venstre party, which Mr Ellemann-Jensen led from 1984-1998, said in a brief statement on Sunday that he died overnight “after a long illness”.

The cause of death was not immediately given.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a statement that Mr Ellemann-Jensen, foreign minister from 1982 until 1993, was “a sharp politician”, a great personality and “a man with great courage”.

“He skilfully represented our country during the Cold War,” Ms Frederiksen said, stressing that Mr Ellemann-Jensen insisted Denmark should remain committed to Nato’s common policies and called for maintaining close trans-Atlantic ties between Europe and the United States.

“Now that war is back on the European continent, his voice for a strong, secure and democratic Europe seems clearer than ever,” she added.

Mr Ellemann-Jensen is survived by his wife, Alice Vestergaard, their four children and 10 grandchildren.

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