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Poland to make urgent UK visit following attacks on Polish residents

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Poland on Sunday announced three ministers would make an urgent visit to London following attacks on its nationals in Britain, including a murder which may have been a hate crime.

Announcement of the government delegation to Britain came hours after two Polish men were assaulted in a British town, following a vigil for a fellow Pole killed in August.

There was an upsurge in the number of reported hate crimes around the period of the June 23 referendum in which Britons voted to leave the European Union.

“In connection with the recent incidents targeting Polish citizens in Britain, the following ministers are planning an urgent trip to London: Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak,” foreign ministry spokesman Rafal Sobczak told Polish media.

The date of the visit had not yet been finalised, Sobczak added, but a government source said it could take place as soon as Monday afternoon.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo also wants to speak directly to her British counterpart Theresa May about the recent attacks, Sobczak said. May is currently in China for the G-20 summit.

According to Sobczak, the Polish government delegation wants to elicit “an effective declaration from the British side that the safety of Poles will be guaranteed.”

Warsaw for its part wants “to firmly state that the divorce between Britain and the EU cannot mean that Poles who work legally in the UK will suffer,” he added.
‘Prevent xenophobia’

“This was a vicious and horrible attack,” said police official Trevor Roe of the most recent assault, which took place at around 3:30 am on Sunday.

One Polish man suffered a broken nose and another a cut to the head during the attack outside a pub in Harlow, which is northeast of London, police said.

“Although we are considering this matter as a potential hate crime, it is not being linked with the attack at The Stow last weekend,” he added, referring to the killing of factory worker Arek Jozwik.

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