Duda hails Israeli president's visit as sign of renewed friendship

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said a visit by his Israeli counterpart is a good sign of friendship being renewed.

Relations between Poland and Israel have come under strain, with disputes over Polish property restitution laws, and armed protection for visiting Israeli youth groups to Poland clouding the relationship.

In an interview for the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, Duda said Isaac Herzog's trip to Poland to mark the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was very positive.

"It is a very positive thing to have the president of Israel arrive in Poland to take part in the commemoration events," Duda told the paper. "The reason for that is because we can say that this was an uprising for both Poland and Israel. It is a very positive thing that the two countries have both sought to honour the memory of the heroes of the Ghetto Uprising. It is very good that both sides want to bow their heads and pay their respects for the heroism of the uprising's fighters."

Duda also commented on the apparent mending of a rift in Polish-Israeli relations, caused by Jerusalem cancelling youth trips.

"[W]e still hope that Israel wants to have a friend in this part of Europe that is not indifferent to it," he said. "Very simple. For that reason, the president's visit and the call I had with him are good signs of friendship being renewed."