Reparations an issue for experts, Polish, German FMs agree

2018-01-17 19:43 aktualizacja: 2018-09-26, 18:38
New Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz (L) listens to a translation during a joint media conference with Germany's acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (R) in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, 17 January 2018. Czaputowicz is on his inaugural visit to Berlin to discuss topics focusing on the bilateral relations of the two countries as well as European issues.  EPA/HAYOUNG JEON Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
New Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz (L) listens to a translation during a joint media conference with Germany's acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (R) in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, 17 January 2018. Czaputowicz is on his inaugural visit to Berlin to discuss topics focusing on the bilateral relations of the two countries as well as European issues. EPA/HAYOUNG JEON Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
The Polish and German foreign ministers on Wednesday agreed that the problem of German reparations for World War Two should be discussed by experts. However, Berlin stresses that from the legal point of view the question of reparations has already been settled.

 

The morning talks between the Polish and German foreign ministers, Jacek Czaputowicz and Sigmar Gabriel, were the highlight of Czaputowicz's visit to Berlin on Wednesday. During a joint press conference following talks, the two ministers expressed the will for an intensification of bilateral relations.

Minister Gabriel stressed that Germany is very much interested in stabilising, together with Poland and other EU partners, the situation in the EU in an unstable world. The minister said that Poland and Germany are bound by common economic issues but added that there were also certain differences, which he had discussed with his Polish counterpart. "We have much more in common than we think," noted the German minister.

Minister Czaputowicz noted that Warsaw and Berlin have similar stands on all the most important issues regarding the vision of the EU's role. "Our stand slightly differs from that of France," the minister added but at the same declared Poland's openness to dialogue.

"We have many common issues, problems on the European and world agenda, we should coordinate actions by the EU's major countries - between France, Germany and Poland," said Czaputowicz.

Referring to the ongoing debate in Poland on German reparations for WWII, Czaputowicz said the government wanted experts to discuss the subject. The minister noted that some thorny issues had been raised during the meeting, including whether Poland should be compensated for the damage inflicted on the country by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

"We would like the discussion to be held," Czaputowicz said, "as Polish society is entitled to learn about its most recent history." "We are searching for a solution," said the minister but added that "at this moment, the matter does not represent any burden in relations between the governments."

"In our view, expert-level discussions should take place and I accept the proposal of Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who suggested that experts debate this issue," the Polish foreign minister said. Meanwhile, the German side stressed that from the legal point of view the question of reparations has already been settled. "All matters regarding reparations have been conclusively regulated. Also the (Polish-PAP) government, democratically elected in the early 1990s, has confirmed this," Minister Gabriel said.(PAP)

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