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Clinton expresses condolences at Polish Embassy

The mood was somber at the Polish Embassy in Washington Sunday when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped by to pay her respects. Just outside the embassy on 16th St. in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, photographers and passers-by paused at the memorial to pay respects to Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the dozens of ...

Josh Rogin / FP
Josh Rogin / FP
Josh Rogin / FP

The mood was somber at the Polish Embassy in Washington Sunday when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped by to pay her respects.

Just outside the embassy on 16th St. in DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood, photographers and passers-by paused at the memorial to pay respects to Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the dozens of other Polish high officials who tragically died when their plane crashed April 10 in western Russia.

Clinton was only the latest of a string of American officials and dignitaries who had come to the embassy that day. Among the others were White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The mood was somber at the Polish Embassy in Washington Sunday when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped by to pay her respects.

Just outside the embassy on 16th St. in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, photographers and passers-by paused at the memorial to pay respects to Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the dozens of other Polish high officials who tragically died when their plane crashed April 10 in western Russia.

Clinton was only the latest of a string of American officials and dignitaries who had come to the embassy that day. Among the others were White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Clinton spoke about the closeness of the U.S.-Poland relationship.

"We say with great conviction that the United States and Poland have much to do together to build that future that future that the people on that plane gave their lives for," she said.

"That really touched us," one Polish embassy official told The Cable. "It’s a bit ironic that we had to have such a tragedy in order to hear such nice words, but we were overjoyed to hear it."

The Poles even brought a new signing book for Clinton, just for her entry. Here’s what she wrote:

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of Poland. We mourn the loss of President Lech Kaczynski , First Lady Maria Kaczynska, and many other illustrious Poles. Poland is a great friend and ally to the United States and all Americans stand with the people and government of Poland at this painful tragic time. May God bless Poland now and forever."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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