U.S. denies it will not meet with Polish officials due to Holocaust law

"I want to remind you that all those reports that alleged that US officials would not be meeting or have high-level dialogue with the Polish Government are completely false."

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March 11, 2018 11:54
1 minute read.
U.S. (R to L), Poland's flags and jack of the President of Poland.

U.S. (R to L), Poland's flags and jack of the President of Poland are seen during the inauguration ceremony of bilateral military training between U.S. and Polish troops in Zagan, Poland, January 30, 2017.. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

United States Department of State Spokeswoman Heather Nauert denied a report the US would not meet Poland's top officials because of differences over Poland's Holocaust law.

"I want to remind you that all those reports that alleged that US officials would not be meeting or have high-level dialogue with the Polish Government are completely false," she said during a department press briefing on Thursday.

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A March 5 report carried on the news site Onet said that Poland's highest-ranking officials were not welcome to meet with US counterparts after the country enacted a controversial law limiting discourse about the Holocaust.

Nauert— responding to a question about a meeting between Wess Mitchell, an assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Krzysztof Szczerski, the chief of staff of Polish President Andrzej Duda— said, "we have a close partnership with Poland. We have for many years as a NATO partner and ally. As you all know, we have tremendous concerns with the new law, the Holocaust law."

"Those concerns are not shared by the US government alone; they are shared by many other countries around the world as well," she continued.

"I’m sure [Mitchell] expressed his concerns about the law."

In February, Duda signed a law making it a crime to hold the "Polish Nation or Polish State" accountable for the Holocaust, in addition to banning the term "Polish death camps," a move condemned across the board by Israeli and American politicians. The law carries a three-year prison sentence.

The law has been decried as a form of Holocaust denial by the Knesset, as well as by American officials and Jewish groups around the world.


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