World leaders to attend late Polish president's funeral ceremony

09:38, April 13, 2010      

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Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic signs a book of condolence to mourn for the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in the Saturday plane crash in Russia, at the Polish Embassy to Serbia in Belgrade April 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Marko Rupena)

Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Polish radio on Monday that U.S. President Barack Obama may attend funeral ceremony of Polish president Lech Kaczynski.

Sikorski added Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would also be present at the ceremony.

The date for a state funeral ceremony in honor of the presidential plane crash victims has not been set as yet but most likely it will take place in Warsaw on Saturday, local media reported.

According to the Polish news agency PAP, a number of other politicians announced they would attend funeral ceremonies in Warsaw. Among them are Presidents of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania as well as former Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, Presidents of Latvia and Bulgaria Valdis Zatlers and Georgy Pryvanov, respectively, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, German President Horst Koehler and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as EC President Jose Manuel Barroso.

On the day of the planned funeral ceremonies, flags on official buildings in Germany will be lowered to half-mast. On Monday, EU flags in front of the EU and EC buildings in Brussels, Strasbourg and in capitals of all 27 EU states were lowered half-mast as a sign of mourning.

Also the Council of Europe declared Monday a day of mourning and lowered flags in front of its seat in Strasbourg. In front of NATO headquarters in Brussels, the Polish flag was hoisted half- mast since Saturday. On Monday flags there were lowered by Lithuania, Estonia and Great Britain.

A number of countries declared national mourning. Among them are Brazil and Lithuania which declared three-day mourning. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey will mourn the Polish president on the day of his funeral. Estonia, Ukraine, Spain and Latvia declared mourning on Monday. In Moldova national mourning will be observed on Tuesday. Flowers were laid and candles were lit in front of the Polish mission in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

The Polish president, his wife and over 90 Polish politicians, high military officials and parliamentarians died Saturday morning in an air crash near Smolensk, Russia.

Source: Xinhua
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