General Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, dies aged 84

Powell has died following a serious complication from a COVID infection


General Colin L. Powell, the first African-American to serve as US Secretary of State, died on Monday at the age of 84 from complications related to COVID-19.

His family said in a message on the social networking site Facebook, in which they said they had lost "an extraordinary and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American".

The statement said the US general had received a full course of vaccinations.

Powell was Republican President George W. Bush's secretary of state from 2001 to 2005 and previously served as chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War (1989-1991).

The New York-born four-star general died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington.

Despite being one of the most influential generals of recent decades, Powell experienced one of the most complicated moments of his career because of his controversial presentation in 2003 before the UN Security Council, where he defended military intervention in Iraq by asserting that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

He later acknowledged that it was a mistake and a "stain" on his political career.

Although he belongs to the Republican party, he has distanced himself from the conservatives in recent years, since last year he called for a vote for the Democrat Joe Biden, and did the same in 2016 when he backed the candidacy of the Democrat Hillary Clinton for the White House, instead of the Republican Donald Trump.