Polish and German presidents meet in Berlin

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Friday in Berlin the creation of what he called Poland’s „strategic relations” with Germany.
fot. Rainer Jensen/EPA

fot. Rainer Jensen/EPA

„I have absolutely no doubt about the size of our task – my task – from the Polish side, namely to build strategic and best relations with Germany,” Duda said after meeting German President Joachim Gauck. The presidents met with journalists at the Gauck official residence, the Bellevue Palace.

„I am confident that by working together, we can build security in the European sphere, we can also strive to ensure that at the NATO summit next year in Warsaw we will take good and constructive decisions that will build real security for the future,” said the Polish president.

Gauck stressed that Poland is an important partner for Germany. „Poland is an important partner in the EU and NATO. We are jointly interested in strengthening our cooperation. Intensive talks have already begun and will continue,” said the German politician.

„Sometimes it can be that Poland or the Baltic States may (…) choose different accents than the German government and other Western countries, but we do not leave any doubt that we maintain our treaty obligations, and we will defend our European values,” the German president declared.

Berlin is engaged in strengthening NATO’s eastern flank, supporting the idea of dedicated rapid reaction forces in the event of aggression from Russia, Gauck said. Germany, however, is opposed to deploying permanently greater military forces in Poland and other countries of the region because this would violate the the NATO-Russia agreement of 1997, Gauck said.

The difference of opinion between Berlin and Warsaw is evident in approaches to the refugee problem. Gauck said that Germany will seek to adopt a binding commitment on the admission of refugees within the EU. He stressed that the refugee question cannot only be a problem of individual states.

The German president said that the immigration crisis is a „challenge and a burden for Europe. We would be pleased if Europe can opt for an even more integrated policy towards refugees,” said Gauck. (jh)

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