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U.N. saddened by Said's death

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday he was saddened to hear of the death of Palestinian-American writer and scholar Edward Said.

Annan said the 67-year-old Columbia University professor who died earlier in the day "did so much to explain the Islamic world to the West, and vice versa," according to the secretary-general's spokesman, Fred Eckhard.

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"While not sharing all of Professor Said's opinions, the secretary-general always enjoyed his company, savored his wit, and admired the passion with which he pursued his vision of peace between Israelis and Palestinians," said Eckhard. "Both the Middle East and the United States will be the poorer without his distinctive voice."

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