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Germany

Leaders call for deeper cooperation between Germany and Poland

In joint government consultations in Berlin, Poland and Germany have agreed to deepen their cross-border cooperation and called for future joint projects.

Donald Tusk and Angela Merkel walk in front of German soldiers at a welcoming ceremony

Tusk, right, was greeted with military honors

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, meeting in Berlin on Monday for joint government consultations, agreed to deepen their nations' cross-border cooperation with each other.

During the meeting, the 10th such consultation, both leaders called on their foreign ministers, Guido Westerwelle for Germany and Poland's Radoslaw Sikorski, to work on proposals for concrete ideas to be presented on June 17, 2011 in Berlin.

Members of both cabinets also took part in meetings with each other in Berlin Monday.

Nord Stream pipeline

A crane lifts a section of pipe for the Nord Stream line

Work on the Nord Stream pipeline has already begun

One of the main topics addressed during the talks was the Nord Stream gas pipeline, currently under construction in the Baltic Sea, which would connect Russia's natural gas supply to Germany.

In Poland, there have been concerns that the construction on the pipeline would hinder efforts to expand the Polish port of Swinoujscie, known as Swinemuende in German.

Swinoujscie would be Poland's point of access to the natural gas pipeline, and the expansion efforts are being made to equip the port town with necessary equipment to tap the pipeline.

While a solution is still being worked on, Tusk said he was happy with the efforts of Germany to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the problem.

"There has been progress and good intentions on the part of the Germans," he said in Berlin. "There is no danger from the West that the reconstruction efforts of the port are in danger."

Willy Brandt kneels before the Warsaw Uprising Memorial

Brandt's gesture was a step forward in German-Polish relations

"There must be legal clarity on this matter, which Nord Stream may not interfere with," Merkel said, referring to the Nord Stream consortium building the pipeline.

Symbolic gesture

The meeting between Merkel and Tusk comes a day before German President Christian Wulff makes a visit of his own to Poland.

Wulff will make the trip on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt's symbolic gesture of kneeling before the Warsaw Uprising Memorial on December 7, 1970.

Brandt's gesture symbolized German policies toward the East at the time and helped improve relations between the two countries.

Author: Matt Zuvela (dpa, dapd)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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