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    Poland & Israel near finalizing arrangements for student trips

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    Diplomatic conversations between Poland and Israel could result in the resumption of youth groups from Israel visiting Poland, the Polish Foreign Ministry declared on Wednesday.

    In June of last year, the Israeli government made the call to no longer send its youth on educational trips to Poland as a result of a disagreement between the two countries over whether armed guards could accompany the groups, which had been allowed in the past.

    At a ceremony in October 2022 to honour the 79th anniversary of the prisoner revolt at the Nazi German death camp Sobibor in eastern Poland, Yacov Livne, the Israeli ambassador to the country, noted that the Polish Foreign Ministry had taken a decision that made it impossible for Israeli students to visit.

    Negotiations aimed at settling the disagreement appear to have been successful.

    “Although a final agreement has not been reached yet, during talks held in recent days through diplomatic channels we have been observing a convergence of positions, giving hope that a comprehensive agreement on the visits of organized groups of Israeli youth to Poland can be signed between Poland and Israel in the near future,”

    the ministry wrote in a statement on its website.

    The Foreign Ministry stressed that Warsaw had always been ready to host Israeli citizens in Poland, both travelling individually and in organised groups, under existing bilateral visa-free agreements. 

    The Polish Foreign Ministry stated that they were always prepared to welcome Israeli citizens to their country, whether they are travelling alone or in a group, as long as they comply with the existing visa-free agreements between the two countries.

    “We are in favour of promoting people-to-people contact between Poles and Israelis, especially regarding the younger generation, as it is crucial to increase the understanding between our peoples,”

    the statement continued.

    The ministry revealed that negotiations over the restart of the trips had been taking place since the start of 2020 and noted that both sides were making progress in finding a mutually agreeable resolution.

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