Germany should bolster ties with Poland, France - minister-designate

Commenting on Poland's problems with protecting its eastern border with Belarus against an influx of migrants brought there by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the incoming minister said the migrants were being used as a tool by the Belarusian leader. Clemens Bilan/PAP/EPA

Annalena Baerbock, who is set to become foreign minister in Germany's new government, has said Germany should revive the Weimar Triangle, a trilateral format of cooperation between Berlin, Paris and Warsaw.

Established in 1991, the triangle has in recent years fallen by the political wayside.

In an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel, Baerbock said that "the Weimar Triangle should be urgently revived as Warsaw, Berlin and Paris are crucial for Europe."

"A strong German foreign policy can only be a European policy," she said.

"Despite having a number of controversial issues with the Polish government, one thing is certain: we need close cooperation with our eastern partners," Baerbock said.

Commenting on Poland's problems with protecting its eastern border with Belarus against an influx of migrants brought there by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the incoming minister said the migrants were being used as a tool by the Belarusian leader.

"We're witnessing double blackmail from Lukashenko," she said.

"On the one hand, migrants are being used to divide Europe," she continued. "On the other hand, the (Belarusian) government wants to be considered an interlocutor by Europeans, despite suppressing the opposition."

She added that at the moment "Poland needs European solidarity."

International law, however, "must be observed also on Europe's external borders," said Baerbock, adding that "there is no simple solution" to the situation.

Baerbock, co-leader of the Greens, which have formed a government coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and Free Democrats (FDP), was nominated by her party on Thursday to become foreign minister in the next government. If appointed, she will be Germany's first female foreign minister.