English Section

Poland, Israel in talks to restore full diplomatic relations

07.02.2023 20:15
Polish, Israeli foreign ministers have spoken on the phone about bringing back full bilateral ties, Poland’s PAP news agency reported on Tuesday. 
Zbigniew Rau.
Zbigniew Rau.PAP/EPA/Toms Kalnins

“Bilateral issues, including Israeli youth trips to Poland and preparations for the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as well as Russia's aggression against Ukraine,” were among the topics discussed on Tuesday by Poland’s Zbigniew Rau and Israel’s Eli Cohen, PAP wrote.

The phone call has been the first conversation between the countries’ top diplomats in over two years, according to The Times of Israel website.

The two foreign ministers discussed the possible resuming of Israeli youth trips to Poland, Cohen wrote on Twitter, adding that Rau said he would weigh returning an envoy to Israel.

We concluded our conversation by agreeing to meet soon,” Cohen added.

Dispute over Jewish educational trips to Poland

Last month an Israeli official said that a disagreement between the Polish and Israeli governments over Jewish educational trips to Poland had been nearly resolved.

Young Jewish Israelis traditionally take summer trips to Poland, including visits to former Nazi-built death camps to study the Holocaust and pay tribute to those murdered.

However, in June last year the tours were halted due to a dispute over their content and security issues. The move reignited long-standing tensions between the two countries over duelling narratives on the Holocaust.

Restitution law

Another divisive issue between Warsaw and Tel Aviv has been a law passed in Poland in 2021 that “effectively cuts off any future restitution to the heirs of property seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust,” according to timesofisrael.com

In response to the move, Israel recalled its ambassador to Warsaw for consultations and advised Poland’s envoy to Tel Aviv to remain on vacation in his homeland, timesofisrael.com wrote. 


Source: PAP, timesofisrael.com