World Leaders Express Condolences For Polish President Lech Kaczynski <


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World Leaders Express Condolences For Polish President Lech Kaczynski

Mike Mitchell

April 11, 2010 - While on a one mile approach to Smolensk Airport in Smolensk Oblast, Russia under heavy fog Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria Kaczyńska were killed when the presidential plane crashed about 11 AM, 0700 GMT.

Leaders from around the world have expressed their condolences for the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria Kaczyńska and the passengers onboard the presidential aircraft a Soviet made Tupolev Tu-154 jet.

President Obama called Polish Prime Minister Tusk to express the United States, his and the First Lady condolences to the people of Poland on the tragic deaths of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the First Lady Maria Kaczyńska and those military and civilian leaders onboard the presidential aircraft.

“Today’s loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to the world.  President Kaczynski was a distinguished statesman who played a key role in the Solidarity movement, and he was widely admired in the United States as a leader dedicated to advancing freedom and human dignity. With him were many of Poland’s most distinguished civilian and military leaders who have helped to shape Poland’s inspiring democratic transformation. We join all the people of Poland in mourning their passing.

“Today, there are heavy hearts across America. The United States cherishes its deep and abiding bonds with the people of Poland. Those bonds are represented in the strength of our alliance, the friendships among our people, and the extraordinary contributions of Polish-Americans who have helped to shape our nation.

“It is a testament to the strength of the Polish people that those who were lost were travelling to commemorate a devastating massacre of World War II as the leaders of a strong, vibrant, and free Poland. That strength will ensure that Poland emerges from the depths of this unthinkable tragedy and that the legacy of the leaders who died today will be a light that continues to guide Poland – and the world – in the direction of human progress”.

Israeli President Shimon Peres released the following - “The State of Israel is shocked by the report of the terrible tragedy that has struck Poland, and shares in the mourning of the Polish people and the free world. The news of the tragic accident that has taken the lives of my friend, President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria Kaczynska, and prominent members of Poland’s leadership and its Parliament, has been received with a great deal of pain, shock and distress.


“This tragic event is a dreadful blow to the Polish people and the world at large. My friend, President Kaczynski, was among those who led and advanced the change in his country, and represented free Poland, democratic Poland and modern Poland.

“In the many meetings I had with President Kaczynski, I discovered a great leader, determined to press his country forward, a man very much in touch with his people, and who had adopted the viewpoint of a democratic and advanced world.

“President Kaczynski and his wife did much to promote closer ties between the Polish and Jewish peoples, making a significant contribution to the healing process of the scars of the past and the building of a common better future.

“The bilateral ties between our two countries were strengthened during his presidency, distinguished by a spirit of friendship and warmth. The State of Israel bows its head, as it partakes in the deep sorrow of the Polish people on the occasion of their dreadful loss.”

Georgian government PM Nika Gilauri said at a government meeting, which started with minute of silence in memory of the Polish President. “We express our deepest condolences over the loss of this great person”. “This is a tragedy not only for the Polish people, but for us as well. President Kaczynski was a patriot of our country too and it is a great loss for every freedom-loving nation,” Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych said in a statement. "Ukraine has learned about the plane crash ... with great sorrow and inexpressible pain. We share the deep pain of a loss that hit the friendly Polish people and mourn together with the families of the dead."

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Kaczynski had "served his country and people with distinction and conviction, and was deservedly respected internationally. That he died en route to an event marking a new level of reconciliation between Poland and Russia is particularly poignant."
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