- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2003

Sweden’s grief

Swedish Ambassador Jan Eliasson mourned the death of his foreign minister, Anna Lindh, yesterday, as he also shared America’s grief for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“It’s been a difficult day,” he told Embassy Row. “The combination of 9/11 and the killing of the foreign minister is a great blow to us.”

Mr. Eliasson said Sweden was comforted by the outpouring of condolences in Washington. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, visited the embassy to sign a condolence book.

“It is with great sadness that I heard the tragic news of [her] passing. Her murder is a terrible blow to all who knew her,” Mr. Powell said at the embassy.

Mrs. Lindh was stabbed in a Stockholm department store Wednesday and died in a hospital early yesterday.

“Anna will be remembered for her outstanding contributions to international diplomacy and trans-Atlantic relations. She had a special energy, integrity and compassion, and she spent a great deal of her time focusing her efforts on global humanitarian issues,” Mr. Powell said. “Anna was a cherished colleague and friend, and I will miss her.”

At the State Department, Mr. Powell opened a September 11 commemoration program by asking guests for “thoughts and prayers” for Mrs. Lindh and her family.

The ambassador said Mrs. Lindh had been taking a break from campaigning for a referendum for Sweden to accept the European Union currency, the euro, when she was stabbed by an unknown attacker.

Mr. Eliasson served as Mrs. Lindh’s deputy minister before becoming ambassador to Washington.

“We are struck by our grief, but also gratified to see such warm and strong expressions of sympathy,” he said, adding that the embassy had received condolences from the White House and congressional leaders.

The condolence book will remain open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Monday at the embassy at 1501 M St. NW, Suite 900.

Russia remembers

Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov laid a wreath yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery to remember the victims of the September 11 attacks.

“We grieve together with the relatives of the victims. We honor their memory,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Ushakov added that the second anniversary of the attacks is a time for the United States and Russia to redouble efforts in the war on terrorism, which will top the agenda when President Bush meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month.

“Russia and the United States, together, have done a lot over the last two years to neutralize the risk of terror,” Mr. Ushakov said in a statement. “But we have to do even more.”

Russians understand terrorism because “for years it has been yielding its deadly harvest in Moscow, the northern Caucasus and other regions of Russia,” the ambassador said. “That is why the feelings that fill the souls of Americans today are so familiar to us.”

Mr. Ushakov said the 19 Islamist terrorists who killed more than 3,000 people in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania “delivered a blow unprecedented in its impudence and tragic consequences.”

“Terror in the modern world does not respect borders. People who lack everything that makes us human — pity and compassion for others — try to achieve their goals by murders, by intimidation and scare tactics,” he said.

“We cannot let them prevail. We cannot allow the modern civilization to be infected by the spores of terror. We cannot let the fear of being stabbed in the back settle in our mind.”

He added that September 11 is a day of remembrance as well as action.

“It reminds us of the need to cooperate in order to free humanity from the plague of terror,” he said.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected].



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