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“We are united by far more than the things that divided us in the past.” Poland

Foreign Minister Maas meets Jacek Czaputowicz

Foreign Minister Maas meets Jacek Czaputowicz, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

13.12.2018 - Article

Heiko Maas receives Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz

The second meeting of the two foreign ministers within the space of just a few weeks is a reflection of the ambitious agenda that Germany and Poland have set themselves – most recently at the intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw. Maas had the following to say after the meeting:

Our talks demonstrated that we are united by far more than the things that divided us in the past. We have an obligation that emerges from this. After all, who, if not us – Germans and Poles – can stand up for Europe’s cohesion and help to overcome fresh divisions?

Germany and Poland in the Security Council

Both Poland and Germany will be non permanent members of the UN Security Council from 2019. Maas and Czaputowicz agreed on topics that they want to promote together in New York. Both of them consider international humanitarian law and the protection of humanitarian aid to be key priorities. Maas reaffirmed that Germany considers its seat in the most important UN body also to be a European seat. Germany and Poland intend to act in a coordinated manner where possible, together with France.

An ambitious bilateral agenda

At the intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw at the end of October, the two foreign ministers agreed to a comprehensive document setting out joint projects. Youth exchanges were high up on the agenda at today’s meeting. In programmes such as “Jugend erinnert” (Young people remember) and “Menschen gedenken” (People commemorate), young people from both countries are given an opportunity to learn about the past and present of their neighbouring country. The commemoration of the shared, sometimes painful past between Germany and Poland will also play a prominent role in the coming year. Both ministers agreed to hold a joint event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising next year. Moreover, they also spoke out in favour of a memorial in Berlin to commemorate the Polish victims of the German occupation during the Second World War, the 80th anniversary of which is to be marked in 2019.

Praise for Katowice

Finally, Maas praised the leading role played by Poland in hosting the climate negotiations in Katowice. He said that Germany wanted to help ensure that Katowice sends a decisive signal on behalf of the international community to press ahead with the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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