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Obama could be in Krakow in May

US President Barack Obama may spend a few hours in the city of Kraków during his visit to Poland in late May and place flowers at the tomb of the late President Lech Kaczynski in the Wawel Cathedral.

According to the Dziennik newspaper, which quotes a Polish government official, no decision has yet been taken but this is an option under serious consideration.

President Obama will be in Poland on 27 and 28 May.

The US president was to attend Lech Kaczynski’s state funeral last April following his death in the Smolensk air disaster but the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud made travelling to Poland impossible.

Dziennik quotes an unofficial source suggesting that the idea of paying tribute to the late Polish president came from the US Embassy in Warsaw.

The first anniversary of the air crash in Smolensk, western Russia, which killed the Polish President, the First Lady and 94 other people, mostly high-ranking state and military officials is on 10 April.

March 30, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama to visit Poland soon?

KRAKOW TOURS – US president Barack Obama is to take part in the summit of Central and East European countries to be held in Warsaw at the end of April.

The information comes from Foreign Ministry sources.

Reacting to the unofficial news, Prime Minister Donald Tusk told Polish Radio that “from our point of view the US is, and shall be, [Poland’s] most important ally.”

“We understand this is not always reciprocal, bearing in mind the force it represents. However, this would testify to the gravity of Polish-US relations. Let’s not look for different contexts. This is good news and I hope it will materialise,” PM Tusk added.

The information was first revealed by the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper on its website, while Polish Radio received confirmation from the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw.

March 19, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poland decides on new President today

KRAKOW TOURS – The people of Poland are voting in a run-off election to determine the country’s next president. Observers say the final result between Bronislaw Komorowski and Jaroslaw Kaczynski could be close.

Mr Komorowski has been acting president since his predecessor, Mr Kaczynski’s twin brother Lech, was killed in a plane crash as he travelled to Russia in April.

Results are expected to be released on Monday.

The election has been dominated by the crash. Poland’s first couple and 94 other people died when their plane came down in Smolensk on 10 April as they flew to attend a memorial ceremony for the World War II Katyn massacre.

The contests pits the business-oriented Bronislaw Komorowski from the ruling centrist Civic Platform against the conservative Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the main opposition Law and Justice party.

Mr Komorowski won 41.5% in the first round and Mr Kaczynski 36.5%. Eight other candidates were eliminated.

Final opinion polls before Sunday’s voting got under way suggested a close call, with floating voters certain to be pivotal.

Komorowski’s support ranged from 45 to 54%, and Kaczynski’s from 42 to 45%, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Komorowski’s supporters see him working well with Prime Minister Donald Tusk in trying to curb fiscal deficit.

Mr Komorowski, 58, said at his rally on Friday: “You have the choice between a politician who harbours resentment and grudges, and the future, with an optimistic vision of Poland.”

Mr Kaczynski’s supporters hope a victory for their candidate would curb cuts in public spending.

He said on Friday: “This election began with a tragedy. I hope it will end with a great success for Poland.”

Mr Kaczynski, 61, served as prime minister but was voted out of office in 2007.

The BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw says Mr Kaczynski has tried to present himself as a changed man, prepared to compromise with opponents, in the wake of his own personal loss.

The Polish president has a role in foreign affairs and the power to propose and veto legislation, although policy is set by the prime minister.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton avoided taking sides during her visit to Poland on Saturday.

“Whichever candidate is chosen, the United States will continue to be your friend and partner,” she said.

July 4, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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