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Poland defends Israel at AJC Global Forum but criticises settlements

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 03.06.2013 09:10
Poland's foreign minister attended the American Jewish Committee's Global Forum on Sunday in Washington DC, where he defended Israel's right to project itself from attack.

“After what happened in World War II to the Jewish community in Poland and across Europe, no one should expect today's Israel to sit meekly and wait to be attacked," Radolsaw Sikorski told the 1500 delegates at the plenary session of the forum on Sunday.

“Poland's basic policy on Israel is principled and unambiguous," said Sikorski, adding that, “Poland affirms Israel's right to exist within secure borders. Poland affirms Israel's right to defend itself."

Sikorski declared however that though “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Poland does not feel obligated to back every Israeli policy, for example, on settlements.

"Poland doesn't, and need not, support everything Israel does to maintain its security, or its handling of Palestinian issues. We don't support the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories," he said.

'A 9/11 everyday'

Sikorski put the scale of Jewish and Poland's losses during WW II into modern day perspective.

"Poland lost almost 3 million, a 9/11, each day for six years," he said, after noting that the country lost six million people during the war, half of them Jewish.

The Polish foreign minister thanked the AJC for its support of Poland's aspirations to join NATO and the EU and also thanked the committee for its support in Poland trying to be included in the US Visa waiver Programme.

Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic also spoke at the forum.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is also to address the forum this week. (pg)

source: ajc.com

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