New Polish law will not affect relations with US: PM
PR dla Zagranicy
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that Poland’s new anti-defamation law, which has been criticised by America and Israel, would not affect relations with the United States.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk
Morawiecki told reporters that “misunderstandings” about the new Polish law would not affect cooperation with Washington.
"We have very good cooperation with the United States," Morawiecki said.
Despite pressure from the United States and Israel, Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed into force a contested law which could impose a jail term on anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reacted by saying that the United States was “disappointed” at Duda’s move.
Tillerson said that the law “adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.”
The US State Department earlier raised concerns about the repercussions the law “could have on Poland’s strategic interests and relationships” – including with its ally the United States and Israel.
The new Polish law says academic research and artistic expression are exempt from penalties.
In Poland, the new rules are seen as a way of fighting the use of the phrase “Polish death camps,” which many say implies the country's involvement in the Holocaust.
Poland has long fought the use of such phrases, which have often appeared in foreign media in relation to Nazi German-run extermination camps located in occupied Polish territory during World War II.
But commentators have said that Israel is concerned that the new law could mean penalties for anyone who criticises individual Poles' role in the Holocaust.
Public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched a new website, GermanDeathCamps.info, aimed at debunking misconceptions about Poland’s role in the Holocaust.