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    Will the Polish president go to the World Holocaust Forum in Israel?

    The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, will most likely not attend the World Holocaust Forum in Israel, which will begin on January 23rd at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. According to Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper, it is unacceptable for Poland that one of the main speakers at the forum is to be the President of Russia, who has recently made offensive statements about Poland, in which he ascribed shared responsibility to Poland for the outbreak of World War II and accused for anti-Semitism. The Forum Coordinator at the Yad Vashem Institute is Israel Katz, the current Israeli Foreign Minister, infamous for his aggressive anti-Polish statements.

    Today, Gazeta Wyborcza announced that President Andrzej Duda will not appear in Israel at the Fifth Holocaust Forum. During the event, which this year is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the German Auschwitz concentration camp, the main speaker is to be Russian president Vladimir Putin.

     ”No such decision has been made. Talks have been underway with the Israeli side since autumn. We presented our expectations as to the course of these ceremonies, including how we see the role of the Polish president. Some of these expectations have already been met. This weekend, the Polish ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, will hold talks on this topic. Ultimately, we will see how the Israeli side will be able to clarify these matters. If our expectations are not met, the president will not go. The scenario in which Putin is the main guest speaker in Yad Vashem gives him the opportunity to continue his offensive and untruthful statements about the course and causes of World War II and that is unacceptable to us”- says Krzysztof Szczerski,Head of the Chancellery of President Andrzej Duda.

    The point of contention is the structure of the event with which Poland does not agree. President Andrzej Duda would not have the opportunity to speak, and the celebrations at Yad Vashem are treated as an alternative to the celebrations at Auschwitz on January 27th. The main speakers at the Holocaust Forum are to be President Putin and President of Israel Reuwen Riwlin. The organizer of the event is the head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz, known for his aggressive anti-Polish statements.

     ”I agree with the president. The most important thing is that we would celebrate this anniversary here. Secondly, I think it is good that the president does not play along with Putin’s ideas”- says Piotr Zgorzelski, Deputy speaker of the Parliament, Polish People’s party.

    The official decision regarding President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Jerusalem is to be made within a few days. The forum at the Yad Vashem Institute will take place on January 23.


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