Germany claims relations with Poland ′better than ever before′ | News | DW | 11.01.2016
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Germany claims relations with Poland 'better than ever before'

Berlin and Warsaw have emphasized their close relations after tension arose following Germany's allegedly "anti-Polish" comments. Germany has said the two countries are closer now than they have ever been in history.

Germany is committed to keeping good relations with Poland, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said on Monday.

"Germany and Poland are neighbors, they are partners, friends, and are close as never before in our history," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told journalists. "We want to preserve, sustain and if possible deepen these relations," he added.

Germany's statement came shortly after Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski summoned Berlin's Ambassador Rolf Nikel in Warsaw to register his protest against an alleged anti-Polish statement by the Germans.

"We don't have tense relations with Germany," Waszczykowski told journalists after his meeting with Nikel. "A visit by German politicians to Poland would be the best solution, so they can see that Polish democracy is not doing as poorly as they might think," he added.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski called for further discussions so Germany 'can see that Polish democracy is not doing as poorly as they might think'

German Ambassador Nikel described his talks with the Polish minister as "constructive" and said German-Polish relations were a "treasure we wish to safeguard so they can flourish."

Poland's foreign office also confirmed there would be high-level talks between the two countries. Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo would be soon visiting the German chancellor, and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier was also due to visit Warsaw soon, the Polish foreign office said.

Relations between the two countries have been strained after the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) took to power in October 2015. Shortly after, the PiS introduced legislation enabling the government to control Poland's court and its public broadcasters.

In December, German Member of European Parliament (MEP), Martin Schulz, said the situation in Poland was like a "coup." On Sunday, he said in an interview with the German daily "Frankfurter Allgemeine" that the PiS' governing style amounted to a "dangerous 'Putinization' of European politics."

Poland's foreign minister then summoned the German ambassador for talks on Monday, raising concerns that the relationship between the two neighbors could nosedive.

The two countries have also been at loggerheads over the refugee crisis, after the PiS refused to take in any migrants.

mg/ng (AFP, epd, dpa)

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