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    Polish and Israeli FMs take action to strengthen bilateral relationship

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Tuesday’s phone call between the Polish and Israeli foreign ministries appears to be an effort to mend fences following a spat over Israeli school groups visiting Poland.

    Last June, the Israeli government decided to cancel educational trips to Poland for Israeli youth due to a dispute with Warsaw over whether security officers accompanying the groups could carry weapons, which they had done in the past.

    In October, the Israeli ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, said during commemorations marking the 79th anniversary of a prisoner revolt at the Nazi German concentration camp Sobibór in eastern Poland that Israeli student visits had been made impossible due to a decision taken at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    But on Tuesday, Eli Cohen, the Israeli foreign minister, tweeted: “We discussed the warming of relations between our countries and the outline for the return of the Israeli youth delegations to Poland,” as he commented on his conversation with Zbigniew Rau, his Polish counterpart.

    “FM Rau said that he would consider appointing a new ambassador after a prolonged absence of a Polish ambassador to Israel,” Cohen added.

    According to the Israeli side, it was the first conversation held between the two countries’ foreign ministers in more than two years.

    “We concluded our conversation by agreeing to meet soon,” Cohen also said.

    The Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Rau and Cohen had discussed bilateral relations and the global security situation. It also noted Rau had offered Cohen words of compassion following the death of Shevah Weiss, a one-time Israeli ambassador to Poland and former speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, who died last week.

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