(CNN) - World leaders, agencies and officials mourned the death of the Polish president, killed in a plane crash early Saturday.
President Barack Obama:
– "Today's loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to the world. ... Today, there are heavy hearts across America. The United States cherishes its deep and abiding bonds with the people of Poland."
Former President George W. Bush
– "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the deaths of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and all those aboard their airplane. President Kaczynski was a strong defender of freedom and a friend to the United States. Laura and I have fond memories of our visits with the President and Maria. On this sad day, we send our heartfelt condolences to people of Poland, and especially to the families of all those lost in this tragic accident. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers. "
The U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley:
– "This is a horrible tragedy for Poland. We extend to the people of Poland our deepest condolences."
More reactions after the jump
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev:
– The Russian president offered his condolences to Polish Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski during a telephone conversation with him, Interfax reported.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown:
– "I was shocked and saddened at the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria. President Kaczynski was one of the defining actors in Poland's modern political history. From his role in the Solidarity movement to his long and distinguished career in public service – including as Justice Minister, Mayor of Warsaw, and most recently as President of Poland – he will mourned across the world and remembered as a passionate patriot and
democrat. My thoughts are with his family and countrymen at this most difficult of times."
Kanat Saudabayev, chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:
– "I offer my deepest condolences to the Polish people and to the families of those killed in this tragic accident. Our hearts go out to you in this difficult time."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
– The Polish president was a good ally and friend of Afghanistan in fighting against terrorists. The president expressed condolences on behalf of the Afghan people to the friend, families, soldiers and the Polish people.
British Queen Elizabeth II:
– "It is with the deepest sorrow that I have learnt of the death of President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Madame Kaczynska. On this sad occasion I recall President Kaczynski's long and distinguished public service and his role in the Solidarity movement. The deaths of many other of Poland's leading figures, including former President in Exile Kaczorowski, only serve to deepen this tragedy."
Clarence House (Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla):
– "The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are shocked and deeply upset by the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Madame Kaczynski and many others at Smolensk airport this morning. As guests of The President and his wife only a few weeks ago, Their Royal Highnesses experienced at first hand their generous hospitality during what was a very memorable and enjoyable visit to Poland."
German Prime Minister Angela Merkel:
– Kaczynski devoted his life to freedom and the greater good, she said. "The whole of Germany is mourning."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
– "I knew President Kaczynski as a Polish patriot, as a great friend of Israel and as a leader who was very active on behalf of his people and for advancing peace and prosperity in the world. We recently met in Warsaw, in January of this year, within the framework of the events commemorating 65 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz camp and International Holocaust Day. President Kaczynski led an important process for opening a new page in relations between the Polish and Jewish peoples and developed Polish – Israeli relations."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy:
– The president said he learned of Kaczynski's death with "great emotion and a deep sadness" and expressed his sympathy to the families of the president and other victims.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
– "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. 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."