Leaders from across the world expressed sorrow over a tragic plane crash that killed 96, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Saturday.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: "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."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: "On this difficult day the people of Russia stand with the Polish people."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy: "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."
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi: "It is a grave loss that has stricken a friendly country and in which I am sharing in with my heart."
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley: "This is a horrible tragedy for Poland and we extend to the people of Poland our deepest condolences."
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."
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych: "Ukraine has learned about the plane crash ... with great sorrow and inexpressible pain... We share the deep pain of a loss that hit the friendly Polish people and mourn together with the families of the dead."
Pope Benedict XVI said in a condolence message that he learned of the deaths with "deep pain" and that he wanted to assure the Polish people of his "spiritual closeness" in this moment.
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