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Sikorski comes under fire for ‘7-victims’ remark

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 19.03.2015 14:37
The Speaker of the Sejm, Radosław Sikorski, has been criticized for “hasty” comments during a TV interview that seven Poles had died during Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Tunis.
Sejm Speaker Sikorski made some unfounded comments on TV. Photo: PAP/Marcin ObaraSejm Speaker Sikorski made some unfounded comments on TV. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

“I'm afraid that we probably have seven fatalities in the attack in Tunis. This is unconfirmed information, but I received such information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” former Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski told an interviewer at broadcaster TVN24.

The hastiness of these comments was commented upon by Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, as well as Polish President Bronisław Komorowski.


“I was absolutely surprised,” Schetyna told RMF FM on Thursday. He added that the Ministry was not the source of the information as stated by Sejm Speaker Sikorski.

“It is impossible, because we did not have this knowledge, we were investigating […] all night. The Tunisian authorities, and the Interior Ministry in Tunisia, changed the total number of victims, but this is due to the fact that they found more people in the museum, that is, following the anti-terrorist siege, and hence the number was changing,” Schetyna said.

Meanwhile President Komorowski told Polish Radio that when discussing these issues – particularly claiming the number of fatalities during such an attack – one needs to be very cautious.

Members of the media also frowned upon the comments, saying that the speaker of the Sejm should not be amking such claims.

“Radosław Sikorski gives the impression that he is a foreign minister in exile,” tweeted Onet journalist Jacek Gądek.

On Thursday, Radosław Sikorski did not want to comment on questions about his earlier statement.

“It is with great relief that the information which I received yesterday might not be confirmed. I hope that the number of victims is as small as possible,” he told journalists.

On Friday, the Sejm lower house of parliament will honour the dead with a minute’s silence.

Faux pas

This is not the first time that Sikorski has been the centre of attention following remarks to the media. He made comments to the US magazine Politico which he later claimed he “did not authorise”.

He survived a no-confidence vote in November 2014. (rg)

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