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Europe

Poland, Germany and France stress need for EU security policy

Poland, France and Germany jointly reiterated their commitment to further EU integration and better ties to the bloc's eastern neighbors. The leaders of the countries met as part of what is known as the Weimar Triangle.

Komorowski (left), Merkel, Sarkozy

Komorowski (left) got praise from both Merkel and Sarkozy

The leaders of Germany, France and Poland agreed Monday to further coordinate their countries' security and defense policies within the framework of the European Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski met near Warsaw for the revived Weimar Triangle talks.

"We discussed ways of dealing with the aftermath of the economic crisis within the European Union," Komorowski told reporters.

"We also talked about the Polish Presidency of the EU starting later this year where the emphasis will be on security matters. Poland consistently advocates the need to strengthen security policies."

EU and Russian flag

Poland's ties with Russia are crucial to the European Union

In July, Poland is scheduled to take over the EU's rotating presidency for six months. Warsaw has suggested it will highlight EU policy towards its eastern neighbors during its time at the helm of the bloc.

Looking east

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Poland's efforts in improving ties with Russia

She also said that Berlin would support the so-called Eastern Partnership, an EU program that aims to improve relations between the EU and six post-Soviet states - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

"I was very eager to come here to discuss the issues that link our nations," she said. "This is a deepening of our cooperation in the context of the EU, and deepening contact with our neighbors."

In this the German chancellor was echoed by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who told a meeting with his two counterparts that Warsaw too was still committed to the European Partnership scheme as proposed by Poland and Sweden.

"The Eastern Partnership program is not a route to membership," Sikorski explained. "But it will make the countries more compatible. We will work with the partner countries so that in practice they will be closer toward fulfilling EU criteria."

Sarkozy (left), Komorowski and Merkel

Komorowski (center) said he would highlight the bloc's policy towards its eastern neighbors

Rapprochement with Russia

French president Nicolas Sarkozy stressed that he regarded Poland as one of the major players in Europe.

He praised the Polish president for his efforts to bring about a rapprochement with Russia, which he described as intelligent and bold.

The French president also expressed his support of Poland joining the eurozone as soon as possible. Poland joined the EU in 2004 - a likely date for joining the bloc's single currency is estimated to be 2015.

Agreement was also reached during the summit on co-operation in social policies, youth exchanges and the training of diplomats. In future too, Polish universities will be more involved in Franco-German research projects and there'll also be more cooperation among the three countries' public television networks.

The Weimar Triangle is a loosely organized grouping of Poland, Germany and France, set up in 1991 in the German city of Weimar to help Poland make the transition from communism to democracy and to move closer to the EU and NATO.

The summit was the first for four years after Poland's previous president put the talks on hold.

Author: Rafal Kiepuszewski in Warsaw, Andreas Illmer (dpa, AFP)
Editor: Rob Turner

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