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FORMER US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Henry Kissinger, told the BBC that his lifelong friend, Lee Kuan Yew, who died early Monday morning at the age of 91, viewed "international problems" with an "extraordinary intelligence".
The two men first met in 1967.
"He was, after all, the mayor of a medium-sized city," says Dr Kissinger, 91. "Yet when Lee Kuan Yew travelled around the world, whether it was London, or Washington, or Beijing, he was a major interlocutor (for world leaders)."
"He was not at all a charmer. He was not a flatterer. He had developed his point of view. He would present it with great intelligence and eloquence - not in order to get you to do something specific, but to understand the nature of the world in which you were living," he added.
Dr Kissinger said: "Because afterall, Singapore as a country did not represent a major force. It was the intelligence of the leaders and the ability of its population to do standards of performance that exceeded those of its neighbours. Otherwise, it would have been drowned.''
For all our coverage on the death of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew: bt.sg/lky2015