Canadian PM expresses condolences on the death of Polish President

08:08, April 12, 2010      

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on Saturday, offering his condolences on the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash.

Harper said: "It is with shock and profound sadness that I learned this morning of the terrible tragedy that has today befallen the people of Poland. Canadians and Poles together are mourning the death of Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland; his wife Maria Kaczynski, the First Lady; and many senior Polish political and military leaders,"

On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, Harper expressed his "deepest sympathy" and "sincere condolences" to the government and people of Poland.

"President Lech Kaczynski was a man who stood proudly and defiantly for democracy and human rights through even the most difficult times," he said. "His sudden passing is a great loss for his country and for his many friends here in Canada, particularly within the Polish-Canadian community."

Lech Kaczynski's plane crashed near the Smolensk airport in western Russia on Saturday and killed 97 persons. He was on the way to a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which some 22,000 Polish officers were killed.



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