Poland eyes better links with France, Germany

7th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

WARSAW, Jan 7 (AFP) - Poland's new foreign minister Adam Rotfeld looked forward Friday to better relations with France and Germany, after the question of Iraq had soured their ties, saying all three countries wanted to improve matters.

WARSAW, Jan 7 (AFP) - Poland's new foreign minister Adam Rotfeld looked forward Friday to better relations with France and Germany, after the question of Iraq had soured their ties, saying all three countries wanted to improve matters.

"The question of Iraq has had a very negative impact on Poland's relations with Germany and France," Rotfeld said in an interview with the private radio station Tok FM, referring to Warsaw's decision to support US military operations in Iraq, to the extent of supplying 2,400 troops.

"However there is now on all sides a determination to do more than just restore relations but to give them a new dimension."

He said this was the purpose of the visit of French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier to Warsaw on January 13, ostensibly to inaugurate an enlarged and restored French embassy, as was Paris's decision to replace its ambassador.

Rotfeld also noted that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had discussed a speech he made on August 1 in Warsaw with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski before he delivered it, "a very rare gesture."

All three countries are linked in the so-called Weimar Triangle, but Poland's hard-line stance on its membership of the European Union which it joined last May also upset France and Germany.

Kwasniewski visited Paris in October to mark the end of a "Polish cultural season" and had talks with President Jacques Chirac, who afterwards hailed better relations between the two countries.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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