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Poland ready to continue dialogue with Israel: foreign ministry

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 06.02.2018 10:05
Poland is ready to "continue dialogue with Israel" amid tensions over a proposed Holocaust law, the foreign ministry in Warsaw said after the country's top diplomat Jacek Czaputowicz met with the Israeli ambassador in Warsaw.
Jacek CzaputowiczJacek CzaputowiczBild: MSZ (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“Organised on Monday at the request of Ambassador Anna Azari, the meeting was devoted to bilateral issues,” the ministry said on its website.

It added that, during the meeting, Azari “set out the Israeli side's expectations about further dialogue on the legislative process" concerning a disputed Polish law on Holocaust complicity.

Czaputowicz “expressed the Polish side's readiness to continue dialogue with Israel with a view to clarifying any matters surrounding the new regulations,” the ministry said.

It added that Czaputowicz “assured the Israeli diplomat that Poland is opposed to Holocaust denial and attempts to exculpate those responsible for World War Two crimes, as well as the related attribution of complicity in organising the Holocaust to Poland.”

Czaputowicz “emphasised that the new legislation … provides for clear safeguards of the freedom of research and artistic activity. Consequently, it does not curtail the freedom of expression of those who witnessed the tragedy of World War Two.”

The Polish law says that artists and researchers will be exempt from penalties.

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Presidential nod needed

The disputed Polish bill was passed by the country's Senate last week and needs to be signed by President Andrzej Duda before it becomes law.

The legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel. The United States, of which Poland is a staunch ally, has warned that the new law could damage Warsaw's relations with America as well as with Israel.

Israeli politicians, historians and intellectuals have appealed to the Polish president not to sign the law, which could mean a jail term for anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes during World War II.

President Duda was expected to make a statement later on Tuesday, with his chief of staff Krzysztof Szczerski saying the head of state would "soon" announce his decision on whether he would sign the contested bill into law.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, msz.gov.pl

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