WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Colin Powell canceled on Thursday plans to attend a memorial service in Stockholm for Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh (search), who was stabbed fatally last week in a department store in the Swedish capital.
Powell intended to break away from talks President Bush was holding at Camp David, Md., with King Abudllah II of Jordan to fly to Sweden for Friday's service.
But he said in a statement that U.S. Air Force planes had been evacuated in advance of Hurricane Isabel's arrival and that it was impossible for him to fly to Sweden.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleague of Anna Lindh, and I had hoped to join them in honoring and cherishing her memory," Powell said. "Anna's achievements as a national and international leader and her memory as a friend deserve the highes praise and tribute from us all."
U.S. Ambassador Charles Heimbold (search) will represent Powell at the memorial service.