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    Poland’s Foreign Minister Denies Complicity in Visa Scandal Amidst UN Assembly Visit

    Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s foreign minister, has vehemently denied any complicity in the ongoing cash-for-visas affair that has ensnared the Polish government. Speaking in New York during his visit to the 78th UN General Assembly, Rau dismissed the scandal as media exaggeration and expressed no intention to resign over the matter.

    Polish prosecutors have initiated legal proceedings against seven individuals, with three of them currently in pre-trial detention, as part of a visa issuance scandal. This scandal has already claimed the position of a deputy foreign minister, sending shockwaves through Poland’s political landscape.

    The allegations revolve around visa applications from foreigners submitted to Polish diplomatic missions in several countries, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Qatar. The scandal has raised concerns that Poland’s Foreign Ministry may have inadvertently permitted the entry of hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe.

    Rau, however, vehemently dismissed these allegations during a press briefing in New York. He firmly stated, “I do not feel complicit, I am not considering tendering my resignation, and there is no visa scandal.” The foreign minister supported his argument by presenting data on visa issuance in Poland, comparing it to other Schengen countries. “In Poland in 2022, we issued Schengen visas proportionate to our population. We granted almost two visas per thousand inhabitants, whereas our French partners issued 20 visas and Germany 10 over the same period.”

    Rau went on to highlight that Polish prosecutors were examining irregularities in the issuance of approximately 200 documents, which he contrasted with the more than 2 million visas Poland had issued over the last 30 months. Of those, over 1.5 million were granted to Ukrainians and Belarusians.

    The foreign minister appeared to be unflustered by the allegations, saying, “If it is the scandal of the century, I would prefer to talk about the flood of fake news.” When pressed further on whether nothing untoward had occurred, he responded with confidence, “Of course, nothing has happened.”

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