Duda in UK encourages Poles to return home

Marcin Obara/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has encouraged Poles living in the UK to return to Poland because its economy, he said, is growing quickly.

Speaking at a meeting in London with representatives of the Polish community in London on Tuesday night, Duda thanked them for cultivating "Polishness."

"Thank you... for teaching Polish to children, for teaching Polish history, for cultivating Polish customs and traditions," he said. "You are doing a great thing for the Republic of Poland. It may sound very pompous, but it is really acting for the good of the Republic."

Duda added that even if some of the children would not return to Poland permanently, even if they visited the country only once every few years, it was important for them to be aware of their roots.

At the same time he said that his desire is still for Poles to return to the country.

"I would love you to come back," Duda said.

He recalled that during his first trip to London in 2014, as a presidential candidate, his call for Poles to start returning to Poland was received "almost with indignation."

But now, Duda added, "owing to the rapid development of the economy, Poland is increasingly closer to the Western European standards of living."