Truss pays tribute to Ariel Sharon

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss has paid tribute to former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon as a controversial but courageous leader.

Mr Truss described Mr Sharon, who has died after eight years in a coma, as ''a man of great courage, who fought bravely during Israel's major historic wars''. ''He was a controversial figure but undeniably a leader of conviction,'' Mr Truss said.

''He was unflinching in his commitment to doing what he considered the right thing by the people of Israel, reshaping the political landscape to pull Israel out of the Gaza Strip in 2005,'' he said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will represent Australia at a memorial service for Mr Sharon on Monday.

Dan Harrison

This story Truss pays tribute to Ariel Sharon first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.