Anna Lindh remembered

Sweden’s murdered Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was bid an emotional farewell by political, diplomatic and personal friends in a memorial service held in Stockholm.

    Sweden's Prime Minister Goeran Persson said Lindh's death "hurts so terribly much"

    Guests included British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the German and French foreign ministers Joschka Fischer and Dominique de Villepin, EU Commission President Romano Prodi and a number of other highly respected diplomats, AFP reported.
      
    Lindh, who was stoutly pro-European, died on September 11, one day after being stabbed in a department store in central Stockholm. On Friday, the day of the commemoration, prosecutors asked to extend the detention of a suspect arrested earlier in the week in connection with the popular politician's murder.
      
    As flags flew at half-mast across Sweden, light rain fell on Stockholm's City Hall where the 75-minute ceremony gathered some 1,300 high-profile guests and family members, a day ahead of her funeral which will be a strictly private affair.

    “Few, very few, events stop the clocks. One such event is the death of Anna Lindh,” EU Foreign Relations Commissioner Chris Patten told the mourners.
     
    “She loved the world, and was loved by the world,” he added. “The most beautiful symphonies are sometimes those left unfinished.” 

    Powell absent

    One notable absence was US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the latter unable to attend because Hurricane Isabel shut down Washington airport before his plane could take off for the ceremony.

    “Anna Lindh is no longer with us. That idea still feels so foreign, so difficult to accept. She lives on so strongly in our memories,” Prime Minister Goeran Persson said.

    “We have lost her, that is the way it is. And that realisation hurts so terribly much.”
      
    Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who grew up in Sweden and who accompanied Lindh on her last euro referendum campaign stop before her death, placed an olive sprig by her portrait.
      
    Lindh's friend and colleague, Swedish EU Commissioner Margot Wallstroem, addressed Lindh's two sons, Filip, 9, and David, 13, saying: "You had the best mom ... You were always in her thoughts".
     
    Following the service, some 30 current and former foreign ministers attended a reception at Sweden's foreign ministry.

    SOURCE: AFP


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