Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met today (Wednesday) with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau to sign an agreement to resume the Israeli youth Holocaust trips to the Nazi concentration camps in Poland and to announce the return of the Polish ambassador to Israel.
Relations between Israel and Poland deteriorated after Poland passed two laws related to the history Holocaust. The first law makes it illegal to blame Poland for the horrors of the Holocaust, while the second restricts the rights of Jewish Holocaust survivors to reclaim property which was taken from them during World War Two.
Former Prime Minister Yair Lapid delayed the appointment of an ambassador to Poland during his term as Foreign Minister in protest against these laws. The current government has attempted to resolve the diplomatic dispute with Poland,
Minister Eli Cohen said: "We are opening a new page in relations with Poland. The return of the Polish ambassador to Israel, along with the return of the youth delegations to Poland, are important moves to strengthen relations between our countries."
"Poland is a very significant factor in Europe today and together with it we will continue to advance issues of political importance, such as the most effective ways to deal with the Iranian threat, whose terrorist metastases are already evident in Europe. I emphasized to my colleagues that only the continuation of heavy economic and political sanctions, together with a credible military threat, will bring for the desired results against the terror regime in Tehran," he added.
Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the announcement, saying: “I am sure that it will lead to even closer cooperation between the two countries. I look forward to the continuation of the dialogue and the strengthening of our relations."