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New Polish PM takes aim at EU migrant policy

While vowing cooperation to fight extremism, new prime minister Beata Szydlo criticized EU plans to share more refugees. She said forcing other countries to share the burden wasn't an example of "solidarity."

In a keynote speech to the Polish parliament on Wednesday, new leader Beata Szydlo said her government's priority would be to ensure the security of Poles and contribute to the EU's security.

But she took a swipe at Germany's insistence that tens of thousands of migrants be shared between EU countries.

"The question of solidarity must be defined clearly," Szydlo said in her policy speech.

"You cannot call it solidarity when some countries try to, in a way, export problems that they brought on themselves without the participation of other nations, who are now to be burdened with them," she added.

On Monday, Szydlo said her government would honor the commitment made by the previous liberal administration, which agreed to host more than 9,000 refugees.

EU policy slammed

But she vowed a harder line in future negotiations on the EU's relocation plan, even suggesting that Syrians should be sent back to "liberate" their country.

Several members of her cabinet have raised security concerns following the Paris attacks as reasons for Poland not to keep to its earlier promise.

Many EU states have complained about being forced to take migrants - many escaping the war in Syria - when their countries are facing ongoing economic hardship.

Szydlo used the rest of her speech to promise to 'fix' Poland by playing a more "assertive" international role while boosting the country's economic development with plans for the state funding of health care and a two-level school education system.

Her centre-right government was sworn in on Monday after winning the country's general election last month. With its parliamentary majority, the Law and Justice (PiS) was expected to easily win a vote of confidence later on Wednesday.

mm/jil (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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