German President visits Poland
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender started a two-day visit to Poland on Tuesday.
After a welcoming ceremony in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace, the Polish and German heads of state held a face-to-face meeting. The talks focused on bilateral issues as well as European and transatlantic relations.
It was followed by plenary talks by two delegations chaired by Presidents Andrzej Duda and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Later in the day, the two heads of state met with journalists.
In the afternoon, the Polish and German presidential couples attended a „Poland and Germany in Europe“ conference in Warsaw's Royal Castle. The conference was held to mark Poland's independence centenary which falls this year.
Krzysztof Szczerski said that Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit was connected with Poland's independence centenary falling this year, and informed that he and Andrzej Duda will attend a „Poland and Germany“ in Europe conference in Warsaw's Royal Castle held to mark the anniversary. Minister Szczerski said the Polish President's address at the conference will focus on history, contemporary European challenges and Poland's position on current international affairs, including relations with Germany, Russia and the US. He added that Andrzej Duda also planned to underscore the importance of an independent Poland for European policy. In this context he stressed that transatlantic unity was of primary importance for Andrzej Duda, who saw in it a basic security mainstay for Europe.
At a press conference with Steinmeier, President Andrzej Duda thanked the German President for his visit and observed that Steinmeier was the first head of state to visit Poland in connection with the country's 100th independence anniversary, and compared it to earlier visits by German Chancellor Willy Brandt and German President Roman Herzog.
- You, Mr. President, are the first leader to come to our country to join us in our celebration of this very important anniversary. Mr. President, for this I thank you very much. Today I have taken the liberty of comparing the historical importance of your visit to the visit decades ago by Chancellor Willy Brandt, who laid a wreath at the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes memorial, and the later visit by President Roman Herzog, who bowed down before the Warsaw Uprising Memorial. The fact that you, Mr. President, a representative of our great neighbour Germany, are with us today, in the centenary year of regaining independence by Poland, is an act of immense importance to us, for which I once again thank you – Andrzej Duda told Steinmeier.