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Polish president talks Ukraine aid with UK’s Prince William

23.03.2023 16:00
Poland’s president has met with Britain's Prince William to discuss humanitarian assistance to war-torn Ukraine, according to officials.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (right) and Britains Prince William (left) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (right) and Britain's Prince William (left) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, March 23, 2023.Twitter/Office of the President of Poland

Andrzej Duda hosted the Prince of Wales at the presidential palace in Warsaw on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

Prince William, who was continuing an unannounced, two-day visit to Poland, expressed his thanks for troops and local people for their support for Ukraine, according to the Reuters news agency.  

The Polish president’s office said in a tweet that Duda and the UK royal spoke about humanitarian aid to Ukraine as it fights Russia's invasion.

A spokesperson for the prince said: "The Prince of Wales took the opportunity to thank the president and the Polish people who have done so much to support the people of Ukraine who have fled here."

William later posted a photo from the meeting at the presidential palace, saying: Expressing my thanks to President Andrzej Duda for the ongoing generosity and hospitality of the Polish people.”

Before meeting Poland’s head of state, Prince William laid a wreath at Warsaw's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Later on Thursday, the British heir to the throne also visited a food hall in Warsaw, where he met with a group of young refugees who have found work or are continuing their studies in Poland, according to Reuters.

After arriving at the food hall, Prince William chatted with a group of local well-wishers, Reuters reported.

Prince of Wales visits Poland

Prince William’s visit to Poland, which was taking place amid tight security, began on Wednesday in the southeastern city of Rzeszów, where he met Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and spoke to Polish and UK soldiers based there, according to news outlets.

On Wednesday evening, the prince visited an accommodation centre in Warsaw that houses around 300 Ukrainian women and children who have fled the Russian invasion.

William was accompanied by Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, and he spoke with residents of the centre, as well as taking part in a game of table tennis, the Reuters news agency reported.

‘I want to pay tribute to the inspiring humanity of the Polish people’ 

The prince said on Wednesday: “It’s fantastic to be back in Poland. Our nations have strong ties. Through our cooperation in support of the people of Ukraine and their freedom, which are also our freedoms and yours, these ties are further strengthened.”

He added: “I’m here because I want to personally thank the Polish and British troops working in close and crucial partnership. I also want to pay tribute to the inspiring humanity of the Polish people. You have opened your hearts as much as your homes.”

William's visit ‘will strengthen Polish-British relations’

On Thursday, Polish officials hailed Prince William’s visit in media interviews, the PAP news agency reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told private broadcaster Polsat News that William’s trip underlined “support for Ukraine, and support for Poland, as a country that is supporting Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller told Radio Koszalin that Prince William’s visit “highlighted Poland’s important role” in efforts to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Marcin Przydacz, the Polish president's top foreign policy aide, said in an interview with private broadcaster TVN24 that William’s trip would “definitely strengthen” Polish-British relations, which he described as “strategic.”

Thursday is day 393 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, prezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.