The Egyptian diplomat became the first secretary-general from the African continent in 1992, but his tenure ended abruptly after five years when the United States vetoed his second term.

Boutros-Ghali, who served as the United Nation's sixth secretary-general, died in Cairo, the United Nations announced Thursday.

UN Security Council members observed a moment of silence in memory of Boutros-Ghali during a meeting in New York.

A former Egyptian foreign minister, the veteran diplomat headed the world body during one of its most difficult times with crises in Somalia, Rwanda, the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.

After a series of clashes with the US administration, Washington turned against Boutros-Ghali and decided to back Ghanaian Kofi Annan for the top post.

Relations with the United States began to sour in late 1993, when a US-led operation in Somalia led to major casualties among American troops.

After leaving the United Nations, Boutros-Ghali served as secretary-general of the Francophonie group of French-speaking nations.

Boutros-Ghali was born on November 14, 1922 into a Coptic Christian family in Cairo.

Latest News from World News Desk