UN Secretary General shocked by Polish president's death
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he was shocked by the news of the death of the Polish president in a plane crash in western Russia on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.
A total of 97 people died when a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski crashed as it attempted to land at an airport in Smolensk
"The Secretary-General was shocked to hear the news of the plane crash in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and many other people, including senior officials, were killed in Smolensk, Russia," Ban's spokesman said.
"On behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General expresses his deep and heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Poland and to the families of those who perished," he continued.
"The Secretary-General said President Kaczynski had served his country and people with distinction and conviction, and was deservedly respected internationally. That he died en route to an event marking a new level of reconciliation between Poland and Russia is particularly poignant."
Kaczynski was on his way to a ceremony in nearby Katyn to commemorate the memory of some 20,000 Polish officers killed by Soviet secret police during World War Two.