Parliamentary committee approves new ambassador to the US

Mateusz Marek/PAP

The Polish parliament’s foreign affairs committee has approved the candidacy of Marek Magierowski as Poland’s ambassador to the United States.

Magierowski, who will now almost certainly take up the high-profile post in Washington, was caught up earlier this year in a diplomatic row between Poland and Israel over a new Polish law affecting restitution rights on WWII property, when he was ambassador to Tel Aviv.

The law provoked a furious reaction from Israel with the country’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, telling Magierowski, who was on holiday in Poland at the time, not to return to his post. Lapid said he should stay in Poland so that he could explain to Poles that Israel "will not tolerate contempt for the memory of the victims and the memory of the Holocaust."

But as ambassador to the US, Magierowski said one of the main challenges will be the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany.

"We must convince them that Russia's use of the gas pipeline for blackmail is no pipe dream," said the diplomat, reflecting Polish fears that the pipeline will be used by Moscow to exert influence and pressure on European states.

He also said that one of the key tasks of Polish diplomacy should be to raise awareness of how much Poles have contributed to the development and prosperity of the United States. Magierowski said that he believes that this role has been greatly underplayed.