Germany's Merkel meets Polish leaders

9th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and husband Joachim Sauer arrived in the Polish Baltic Sea port of Gdansk Saturday for a weekend on the coast at the outset of Poland's EU presidency.

Hosted by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and his wife Anna, Merkel and Sauer visited Gdansk's historic Hanseatic-style old city, stopping at a popular cafe.

The visit holds special meaning for the German chancellor as her mother was born in Gdansk in 1928.

The two couples took a boat from Gdansk harbour to the nearby Hel Peninsula, known for its beautiful sandy beaches, where they were to stay until Sunday at the Polish president's summer residence.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his wife were to join them for dinner but politics would not be on the menu, Komorowski told Poland's commercial broadcaster Polsat TV earlier Saturday.

"But of course there are issues that will come up on their own. Apart from private discussions, it's likely we'll address bilateral and European issues," he added.

Last month in Warsaw, Merkel and Tusk chaired bilateral talks just as Poland was poised to assume the European Union's rotating six-month presidency on July 1 for the first time since it joined the EU as the largest of eight ex-communist states.

At the time the leaders hailed the state of relations between their countries, including an "explosion of trade".

© 2011 AFP

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