A team of historians and politicians headed by Cichocki returns from Israel on Friday, after some four hours of talks about history amid strained bilateral ties on Thursday, with plans for future meetings and dialogue.
"We started a dialogue ... and I hope we ended emotive, mutual accusations, which we, unfortunately, witnessed over the past few weeks," Cichocki said.
Cichocki was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that Poland is "committed to join efforts [with Israel] to promote the truth about the Holocaust and the Polish-Jewish centuries-old relationship. We are here open and ready to answer all the questions and clarify whatever is left to be clarified with regard to the anti-defamation law recently amended in Poland".
Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying: "Israel and Poland enjoy strong political bilateral ties, based on common values ... [but] preserving the memory of the Holocaust is a matter beyond the bilateral relationship between Israel and Poland. It is a core issue cutting to the essence of the Jewish people."
Rotem said it is imperative to make sure that "historical truths are preserved, that there be no restrictions on the freedom of research and speech and that the wide threat of criminalization in this regard is addressed and resolved," the Jerusalem Post reported.
Meanwhile, Israeli foreign ministry officials said the meeting was "penetrating and hopeful," according to the Jerusalem Post.
Ties became tense over amendments to Polish laws regulating the country's National Institute of Remembrance which could see jail terms for anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in the Holocaust.
Polish President signed the new law in early February and also referred it to Poland's highest court so it can assess whether the new rules are in line with the constitution.
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.
Poland’s ruling conservatives have said such phrases distort history.
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.
Israeli ambassador to Poland Anna Azari has said that in Israel the law "is seen as creating a possibility of punishment for Holocaust survivors' testimony." (vb)
Source: IAR, PAP