Polish foreign minister due to arrive in Israel today for three-day visit

Waszczykowski, who formerly was the Polish ambassador to Iran, is making his first visit to Israel since taking office in November 2015. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski is arriving Tuesday for a three-day state visit during which he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high ranking Israeli officials.

The visit will focus on bilateral issues with the aim of enhancing bilateral cooperation, said Polish Ambassador Jacek Chodorowicz, who referred to Israel as “our friend and significant partner in the Middle East.”

Among the issues Waszczykowski will discuss will be the agenda of the government-to-government meeting slated to take place in Jerusalem in the fall with the participation of the heads of both governments as well as senior ministers from both countries.

Waszczykowski, who formerly was the Polish ambassador to Iran, is making his first visit to Israel since taking office in November 2015. In addition to a parley with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he is scheduled to meet with Cabinet Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.

Waszczykowski will be accompanied by a delegation including chairman and vice-chairman of the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group, and the director of Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute.

In Jerusalem, the group will visit the graves of soldiers and civilians who arrived in British Mandate Palestine during the Second World War as part of Gen. Władysław Anders’s Polish Army in Exile. More than 120,000 Polish soldiers and their families, among them many Jews, traveled from the Soviet Union, via what was then Persia and Iraq, to join the British forces stationed in the Middle East. It was a journey fraught with danger, tension, physical exertion and lack of hygiene, as a result of which many of the soldiers succumbed to exhaustion or disease. “This is why we have a cemetery with Polish graves in Jerusalem,” said Chodorowicz.

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