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UN GA President expresses shock, sadness on death of Serbian prime Minister Zoran Djindjic

News and Press Release
Originally published
Following is the text of today's statement by the President of the General Assembly, Jan Kavan (Czech Republic):

I would like to express my deep shock and sadness at learning of the assassination of His Excellency Zoran Djindjic, Prime Minister of Serbia. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Government and people of Serbia, and to Mr. Djindjic's family, in their loss. I feel personally very strongly about this and share the pain caused by this cruel act, as Zoran was a friend of mine and a former fellow human rights dissident. I worked with him when we were both dissidents, as well as when he continued in his opposition to the Milosevic regime and I was a Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, and lastly when we were both in top government positions and endeavoured to work for a democratic Central Europe as our contribution to better conditions in Europe and the world.

A violent act, deplorable as it is in itself, is particularly so when perpetrated against a democratically elected head of government. I firmly believe that this act of political violence should in no way stop the progress that Serbia has made in the process of democratization, of reform, and international cooperation. I perceive it also as a challenge to us all and as a reminder that we have to continue to help to consolidate democratic forces throughout the world.