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French president expresses sadness at Polish plane crash

2010-04-12 10:43 BJT

Special Report: Polish President Dies In Plane Crash |

PARIS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his sadness Saturday over the plane crash that killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski and 131 others on board.

He "conveys all his sympathy to the family of president Kaczynski and to the families of all the victims and wishes to express his deep personal condolences and on behalf of the French people," the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

Sarkozy paid homage to the Polish leader, calling him "an ardent patriot" and "a tireless advocate."

French Defense Minister Herve Morin also sent his condolence on the accident, calling it "terrible news for France."

"It's sad given the friendship between the two countries," Morin added, local media quoted.

A chartered plane carrying Kaczynski crashed near the Smolensk airport in western Russia Saturday, killing all 132 people on board, Russian officials said.

Polish Parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski took over presidential duties in line with the constitution. An investigation into the accident has been launched.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua