President Andrzej Duda and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda hosted the meeting in the gardens of the presidential palace in Warsaw on Friday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The president has taken "honorary patronage" over the Sixth World Congress of Poles from Abroad, which runs until Sunday.
Duda told the guests: “Let me thank you for supporting us on a daily basis, for defending Poland’s good name by conducting various campaigns in your countries. This has made a big difference on the international stage.”
The president praised Poles abroad for "welcoming many refugees from war-torn Ukraine."
He said: “You are perfectly aware of the impact this has had on Poland’s image internationally. During my foreign visits, many compatriots have told me that Poland and the Polish people are now perceived in a totally new way.”
He cautioned, however: "Our opponent is attacking us fiercely with its propaganda. Poland will be slandered, Poland and Polish people will be disparaged. Our opponents will do this by pushing true and false stories, by manipulating facts, by fabricating lies ... We must be able to counter this.”
Meanwhile, the Polish first lady thanked compatriots from abroad for their “extraordinary solidarity with Ukraine, for financial and material support.”
She praised the Polish community in the United States “for responding swiftly" to her appeal to help Ukraine.
Kornhauser-Duda said this outpouring of support "has resulted in some 80 shipments of humanitarian aid” to Ukraine.
“This assistance has been put to a good use,” she declared.
Polish diaspora holds global meeting
The Sixth World Congress of Poles from Abroad was set to address a range of international challenges, including the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and tensions with Belarus, according to officials.
Participants were also expected to discuss "the mission of the Polish diaspora in the new international situation," including "ways to cement Polish communities abroad,” as well as “efforts to help ensure the security of the homeland” and “strengthen solidarity with compatriots in Ukraine and Belarus,” the presidential office said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.
Friday is day 492 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, prezydent.pl