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Poland will support Isreal-Palestine peace process, says Polish FM

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Poland will support Isreal-Palestine peace process, says Polish FM

Poland will support the peace process in Israel, Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna told Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting in Jerusalem on 15 June.

The Isreali PM said he would "hold out a hand" to anyone who wanted peace. He also spoke of Poland's and Isreal's shared experience in fighting for freedom and of further cooperation in the areas of trade, modern technology, cyber-security and science.

Netanyahu said the fact that about 120 Polish business people had travelled with the foreign minister to Israel was “the best proof of the possibilities for fruitful cooperation.” He stressed that on a visit to Poland he had been impressed by the country’s economic achievements and the improvements in the quality of life. “Poland can be proud,” he said.

Schetyna spoke of the 25th anniversary of the reconnection of Polish-Israeli diplomatic relations, which were broken off by the then communist authorities at the behest of Moscow after the Six-Day War of 1967. They were reconnected on 27 February 1990 by the first post-communist government, under Tadeusz Mazowiecki.

He also reminded listeners of the over 1,000-year joint Polish-Jewish history, “where we lived in one country and we built it together. A symbol of this is the opening in 2014 of the History of Polish Jews Museum in Warsaw,” he added.

The greatest challenges facing both Poland and Israel are “security questions in Europe and on its edges, in eastern Europe, north Africa and the Middle east,” Schetyna said.

Schetyna concluded by saying Poland would be a friend of Israel in the EU. He said he would seek to convince Berlin and Paris to join Warsaw in making the Weimar Triangle a party to Israel-Palestine peace talks. Schetyna said he believed his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French counterpart Laurent Fabius shared his opinion on the matter.

On Sunday Schetyna met Israeli president Reuven Rivlin and leader of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. Rivlin stressed at the meeting that only direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine would yield results, dismissing the need for any interventions by international organisations.

Netanyahu, who is also Israel’s diplomatic chief, earlier had referred to a report published on Sunday by the Israeli government on last year’s conflict in the Gaza Strip. He said it vindicated Israel’s military actions under international law.

Schetyna also visited the Palestinian territories, and in Ramallah – the official capital – met with head of the Palestinian government Rami Hamdallah.

The visit wrapped up with a visit to a Polish-Israeli Business Forum in Tel Aviv.

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