Statement by Minister Cowen on the death of Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh
I have learned with utter shock and sadness of the untimely and tragic death of the Swedish Foreign Minister, my friend and colleague, Anna Lindh. On behalf of the Government and myself personally I would like to convey the deepest sympathy to her family and to the Swedish Government.
Anna had a warm personality, a good sense of humour, an incisive intelligence and a commitment to decent values. She will be missed both privately by her very many friends across Europe and beyond, and publicly by those who admired her commitment to shaping a better world.
I had many discussions with her at the most recent meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Italy just last weekend.
The close working relationship which I enjoyed with her reflected the close and enduring friendship between Ireland and Sweden and our shared interest in a more effective, legitimate and open European Union. Her contribution in that regard has been consistent and creative, and will continue to resonate.
Her work embodied shared priorities that Sweden and Ireland seek to advance internationally including the protection of human rights, the promotion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the cause of development and eradication of poverty , the unique legitimacy and central role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security, and the need for a balanced and just peace in the Middle East.
The greatest loss at this immensely sad time will, of course, be at home, to her husband and family and to her country. But Europe and the wider world have also lost a force for common sense and the common good; and Ireland has lost a friend with whom I looked forward to working closely during our Presidency next year.