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President and PM attend Smolensk commemorations

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 10.04.2017 11:57
Polish President Andrzej Duda and PM Beata Szydło on Monday attended state observances commemorating the seventh anniversary of a presidential plane crash near Smolensk, western Russia.
Polish President Andrzej Duda in Kraków on Monday. Photo: Twitter.com/@prezydentplPolish President Andrzej Duda in Kraków on Monday. Photo: Twitter.com/@prezydentpl

President Lech Kaczyński and 95 other passengers died in the crash. The other victims included First Lady Maria Kaczyńska and dozens of senior Polish government officials and military commanders.

The observances on Monday started with a Mass for all the victims of the crash at the Carmelite Church in central Warsaw.

Polish PM Beata Szydło and PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński attended a commemoration on Monday. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

A traditional roll call of honour in front of the Presidential Palace was held at 8:41 am, the exact time of the disaster on 10 April 2010. The event was attended by Prime Minister Beata Szydło and the head of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jarosław Kaczyński.

President Andrzej Duda paid his respects at the grave of the late President Kaczyński at the Wawel castle in Kraków. He was joined by the presidential couple's daughter, Marta Kaczyńska.

In an interview with journalists, Duda said: “From the very beginning, from the day [of the crash] on 10 April, 2010, I have expected that Poland will do everything to explain the death of, first of all, many Poles … and secondly, great people from Polish public life, Polish political life, performing their state duties.”

In a reference to the previous government led by the Civic Platform (PO) party, which is now in opposition, Duda said that "what happened over the years... the whole attitude relating to the investigation [into the disaster], the beginning, placing the case in the hands of the Russians - today it is still difficult to understand why this happened.”

At 4:30 pm, Duda is scheduled to give an address at a gathering in front of the Presidential Palace and lay flowers at a plaque commemorating President Lech Kaczyński. Present will also be PM Beata Szydlo and state officials.

In the afternoon in the lower house of parliament, Speaker Marek Kuchciński and the CEO of the Polish Post office will open an exhibition devoted to a special postage stamp issue dedicated to the crash.

A plaque commemorating President Lech Kaczyński as well as PiS MPs Przemysław Gosiewski and Zbigniew Wassermann was unveiled at the Prime Minister’s chancellery. (rg/pk)

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