Polish PM: EU inconsistent on Iran

Tusk: "You won't find any European country more loyal to Israel than Poland."

peres tusk 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
peres tusk 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Some European countries are "inconsistent" on the issue of how to handle the nuclearization of Iran, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a press conference with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Tusk was asked at the press conference about the European Union's failure to pass sanctions on Iran, which it had been expected to do after the third round of sanctions passed in the United Nations last month. "You won't find any European country more loyal to Israel than Poland," Tusk replied. "If you have a problem with the EU, it is not with Poland. If you think there are European countries that are inconsistent [on Iran], I agree with you." A Polish government official said he could not guess which countries Tusk was referring to, but an Olmert associate said several European countries that continued to trade with Iran fit the bill. An Israeli Foreign Ministry official suggested Switzerland, whose foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, donned a head scarf and flew to Teheran last month to sign a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Ahmadinejad. Tusk said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated statements about destroying Israel "disqualified him from being part of the international community." Olmert, meanwhile, announced at the press conference that he and Tusk had decided to upgrade relations between the two countries to the highest level. He said Israeli and Polish strategic dialogue teams would meet regularly and student exchange programs would be initiated. The Polish prime minister was visibly embarrassed, however, when the Hebrew press corps used the occasion to ask Olmert about the headlines regarding former president Moshe Katsav. Queried on how he had explained the Katsav scandal to a foreign visitor, Olmert declined to answer, saying that "there are things you can't explain and things you don't need to explain." But Tusk did respond. "We didn't talk about the problems of other politicians," Tusk said. "Such things happen in every country, and prime ministers don't have to discuss that."