WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Germany’s new foreign minister stressed the need for preserving European unity Friday during his visit to Poland, a recalcitrant European Union member that has been following its own path on some issues.
Heiko Maas, making his second foreign trip since taking office on Wednesday, stressed the close ties between the two neighbors.
“Despite different points of view here and there, Poland and Germany are indispensable neighbors and friends,” Maas said following talks with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was sworn in for a fourth term this week, is visiting Warsaw on Monday for talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
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Maas, noting external challenges the EU faces in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and possible tariffs with the United States, quoted a Polish proverb that says “accord is constructive, discord is destructive.”
Poland has been critical of EU officials in Brussels, saying they are taking away independent decision-making from member states. Poland’s conservative government has also introduced sweeping changes to its judiciary that have become a bone of contention with EU leaders.
The two ministers spoke in favor of reviving the Weimar Triangle, a platform of political cooperation between Germany, France and Poland.
Maas also met with Duda and Morawiecki to discuss Brexit, migration, EU funding and Europe’s military security.
David Rising in Berlin contributed