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Leaders express sorrow at Polish president's death

world Updated: Apr 10, 2010 17:26 IST
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A look at what world leaders are saying about the plane crash in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski perished on Saturday.

"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," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. "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."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "deeply dismayed by the plane crash and the death of the Polish president."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a statement paid tribute to Kaczynski. "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." Sarkozy said.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Saturday, "This is a horrible tragedy for Poland and we extend to the people of Poland our deepest condolences."

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said "What has happened is a great catastrophe for our neighboring country and our thoughts are today with the families and friends of those deceased, as well as with the whole Polish nation."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: "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."