Key Netherlands Diplomat, Friend of Bulgaria Passes Away
Henri?tte, Barroness of Lynden-Leijten, the Netherlands' envoy to the Holy See and former ambassador to Bulgaria, has passed away Friday in the Dutch town of Sint Oedenrode.
She was 60. As reported by www.katholieknederland.nl, she has succumbed to cancer.
Henriette van Lynden-Leijten presented her credentials to Pope Benedict XVI October 2009. She had been an ambassador to Bulgaria 2001-2005, after which she served as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' director for North Africa and the Middle East. She had also served as an ambassador to Lebanon, Egypt, Britain and Belgium.
In Bulgaria, van Lynden-Leijten was conferred with the highest state distinction, the Stara Planina Order first class, for her contribution to the bilateral Dutch-Bulgarian relations.
In the Netherlands, bishop Frans Wiertz van Roermond, vice-president of the Conference of Bishops, expressed the "deep loss" and "sincere regret" that the country's religious leaders feel at the passing of van Lynden-Leijten.
With a deep knowledge of philosophy, religion and Arabic, the diplomat had contributed in a long-lasting dialogue between cultures and religions.
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