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Polish, Italian PMs discuss support for Ukraine, migration

05.07.2023 16:30
Poland’s prime minister has met with his Italian counterpart and the two leaders stressed the importance of continued support for war-torn Ukraine and efforts to tackle illegal migration in the European Union.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and Italys Giorgia Meloni (left) meet in Warsaw on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and Italy's Giorgia Meloni (left) meet in Warsaw on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.PAP/Marcin Obara

Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki hosted Italy’s Giorgia Meloni in Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The talks, held at the Palace on the Isle, in the Polish capital’s Royal Łazienki Park, focused on bilateral cooperation, economic and security issues, especially in the context of an upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, and "current European Union issues," including the bloc’s planned new migration policy, according to officials.

At a joint news conference afterwards, the Polish prime minister said: “The relationship between Poland and Italy is not only a long history of friendship.”

He added: “We have a similar vision of the continent's development and the issues that are going on here. From discussions at the European Council, it is clear that we think about Europe in the same way.”

Morawiecki said that Meloni's Italy "is also on the same wavelength as Poland” when it comes to “transatlantic ties.”

He said the relationship with the United States was “crucial for Europe's security and future,” the PAP news agency reported.

Support for Ukraine

The Polish prime minister said that Poland and Italy also shared a similar stance ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next week, and the need for “strongest security guarantees for Ukraine," amid Russia's continuing aggression.

He said: “We are perfectly aware that passivity towards Ukraine would be extremely dangerous. And so both Italy and Poland are helping Ukraine by supplying weapons, and we’re replenishing our stocks with new, modern weaponry.”

Morawiecki said he and Meloni had also discussed cooperation between the Polish and Italian arms industries, as well as efforts to modernise the army and increase defence spending amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

Poland, Italy call for bolstering EU external borders, tackling illegal migration 

The Polish prime minister said that "a key issue today is illegal migration to the European Union."

He told reporters: “The Italian position that the EU’s external borders should be protected as strongly as possible is also the Polish position.”

Morawiecki added that “to ensure that cooperation within the EU goes in the right direction … many policy areas should be governed by the principle of unanimity … not a centralised model that is dangerous to Europe’s cohesion.”

He told reporters that “the fundamental issue is tightening the EU’s external borders.”

He stated: “And so the Polish government will not accept illegal migration. Nor will we accept any fines for countries that refuse to admit relocated migrants.” 

Morawiecki noted that his government was planning to hold a referendum on illegal migration “to let the Polish public have a say” over whether migration policy “should be set by the EU’s executive Commission … or a sovereign country that oversees its borders and decides whom to admit and whom not to admit.”

The Polish prime minister also told reporters that Poland and Italy “have one of the longest external borders in the EU.”

He added: “This means that we understand each other very well. We understand each other’s challenges to do with uncontrolled migration.” 

Italy's PM thanks Poland for supporting Ukraine

Meanwhile, Italy’s Meloni said that Poland was “the only European country” she had already visited twice since becoming prime minister last autumn. 

She stated: “I believe this fact alone is enough to demonstrate the importance and depth of our cooperation and bilateral relations.”

Meloni said that “Poland and Italy share the same view nearly on all the issues that are discussed in the European Council."

She thanked Poland’s leaders and the Polish people for supporting Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion.

The Italian prime minister said: “You’re doing it for all of us and I believe Poland’s efforts should receive appropriate recognition from the entire Europe.”

Meloni declared that both Poland and Italy “will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes” and seek “real security guarantees for Ukraine” at the NATO summit, as “the necessary basis for a just and lasting peace in the future.”

Italy understands 'perfectly well' Poland's opposition to EU migrant plan

Italy’s prime minister said she understood “perfectly well” Poland’s opposition to what officials say is forced relocation of migrants among EU member states and called for  “all member countries to join forces and stop this illegal migration before it reaches us,” and to tackle the problem in the migrants’ countries of origin, the PAP news agency reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 497 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, rmf24.pl