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World leaders mourn Poland's loss
World leaders express their condolences over death of president and 95 others in air crash.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2010 18:43 GMT
All the 95 passengers on board the plane were killed in the crash [EPA]

The president of Poland has been killed in an air crash in Russia along with members of government, 15 parliamentarians and other dignitaries.

All the 95 people on board the flight were killed as they were travelling to take part in reconciliatory ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

Numerous world leaders have expressed their condolences.

Gordon Brown, British prime minister

"I think the whole world will be saddened and in sorrow as a result of the tragic death in a plane crash of President Kaczynski and his wife Maria and the party that were with them.

"We know the difficulties that Poland has gone through, the sacrifices that he himself made as part of the Solidarity movement. We know the contribution he made to the independence and the freedom of Poland."

Dmitry Medvedev, Russian president

"In the name of the Russian people, I offer my deepest, truest condolences to the Polish people, feelings of compassion and support for the relatives and loved ones of those killed."

Angela Merkel, German chancellor

"All of Germany is mourning and standing with you."

Nicolas Sarkozy, French president

"Lech Kaczynski devoted his life to his country. A tireless defender of the ideas in which he believed, he always battled with conviction for the values that founded his entry into politics: democracy, liberty and the fight against totalitarianism.''

Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister

"It is a grave loss that has stricken a friendly country and in which I am sharing in with my heart."

Barack Obama, US president

"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." 

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato secretary-general

"On behalf of all of Nato, and myself personally, I express my most profound condolences to the people of Poland, and to the families of President and Mrs Kaczynski and all those who have died in this terrible accident. This is a tragedy for them and for Poland. My thoughts are with them today."

Source:
Agencies
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