Merkel in Poland to smooth strained relations

2nd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2005, WARSAW - Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Warsaw Friday for her first visit as Poland's new leaders hoped for a fresh start in bilateral relations often strained in recent years.

2 December 2005

WARSAW - Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Warsaw Friday for her first visit as Poland's new leaders hoped for a fresh start in bilateral relations often strained in recent years.

Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said in an interview published Friday by a German newspaper: "We can open a new chapter in our bilateral relations."

He told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The relationship between our nations will improve if we settle the issues that that are still there as question marks between us." He added: "It is very important to lay the truth on the table."

Merkel is expected to meet with Poland's right-wing Law and Justice President-elect Lech Kaczynski and Marcinkiewicz, the country's freshly installed PiS prime minister.

Talks between the European Union partners are expected to focus on the European Union's 2007-2013 spending plans as well as controversial plans by a German WWII expellees federation to build a centre in Berlin.

Poland also intends to raise the controversial matter of a German- Russian deal to build a natural gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, thus bypassing Poland.

Leaders from E.U. newcomers Poland and the Baltic states have called for the project to be discontinued arguing it constitutes a threat to the environment of the Baltic Sea and their energy security.

Poland has called for the completion of a second line of the existing Yamal natural gas pipeline which runs across Poland carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany and further west.

DPA

Subject: German news

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