Israeli leaders send condolences over death of Polish president

16:35, April 11, 2010      

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Top Israeli officials offered condolences on Saturday over the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash in Russia.

Israeli President Shimon Peres sent a letter of condolence saying that "Israel is shocked by the grave disaster and bemoans the loss along with the Polish people and the entire world," according to local daily Ha'aretz.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "We share in the heavy grief of the Polish people over the death of their President Kaczynski, his wife, and other Polish delegates. "

Kaczynski "was a true Polish patriot, a great friend of Israel and a leader who acted on his people's behalf and to promote world peace," Netanyahu said.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also offered condolence, saying that Kaczynski played an important role in creating strategic relations between Israel and Poland.

A total of 97 people died in the crash of a Tu-154 plane carrying the Polish president and his delegation in the Smolensk region in western Russia on Saturday morning.

They were heading to Russia to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.



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