31 January 2006

Secretary-General Saddened at Death of Former German President Johannes Rau

NEW YORK, 30 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General learned with great sadness of the death of Johannes Rau, former Federal President of Germany.

Mr. Rau was widely respected as an outstanding statesman who made an invaluable contribution to building strong ties between Germany and the international community.  He will be remembered in particular for his personal contribution to reconciliation between Germany, Israel and Poland, which had a lasting impact.  Mr. Rau was also a good friend of the United Nations, and strongly committed to the Organization's purposes and principles.

The Secretary-General extends his deepest sympathies to his family and to the Government and people of Germany.

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