Steinmeier and Duda want to expand relations


Warsaw (dpa) – Germany and Poland are keen to further deepen their relations despite existing disagreements. Neighbourly relations between Germany and Poland are “one of the great European success stories of the past 30 years”, said Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday after consultations with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Warsaw exactly 30 years after the signing of the German-Polish Treaty of Good Neighbourship. Duda stressed: “We are today intertwined as a result of these 30 years – in the most positive sense of that word.”

Duda said that reconciliation between Poland and Germany must remain a joint, constant task, but that this would also require concrete action. He demanded that the planned memorial for Polish Nazi victims be opened in Berlin by 2024 at the latest. “I would like us to jointly (…) unveil this memorial no later than 2024, on the 85th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.” Steinmeier commented that it would be a memorial in the heart of the city.

Steinmeier said there was no need to gloss over anything in relations between the two neighbours. “Of course interests differ sometimes. Of course points of view differ sometimes.” However, he said that the two countries also want to listen to each other and be considerate of one another in the future. “Listening to why the other party may have a different opinion or prefer to take different paths is the crucial thing in order to keep finding solutions to the open questions (…).” 

The Treaty of Good Neighbourship had been concluded after the end of the Cold War on 17 June 1991. Among other things, the document enshrined the inviolability of borders. Germany and Poland promised to resolve conflicts exclusively by peaceful means.

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