Polish FM discusses visas, Smolensk crash with US Secretary of State

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski discussed visas for Polish nationals and security issues during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.

Waszczykowski said he also told Tillerson that Poland was “interested in all forms of help” in its efforts to probe the crash of a Polish presidential plane in Smolensk, western Russia, seven years ago.

Poland is one of a handful of European Union member countries which are not part of the visa waiver programme with the US.

Following the meeting on Wednesday, Waszczykowski said they spoke “about youth-exchange opportunities, as well cooperation in the field of innovation.”

“I spoke about the fact that Poland is opening a consulate in Houston this year, which will also perform economic activity. Next year we want to open a consulate in Seattle. To further develop this economic cooperation, it would be useful to implement the Visa Waiver Programme,” Waszczykowski added.

The talks also covered the wreckage of the Polish presidential plane which crashed in Smolensk, western Russia in 2010.

Russia has refused to hand over the wreckage or the black boxes to Poland despite repeated requests from Warsaw. The current Polish government has set up a new commission to probe the crash.

“For seven years we have been unable to ... uncover, clearly verify the causes of this [Smolensk] catastrophe,” Waszczykowski said.

“I told [Tillerson] that in terms of the Smolensk [disaster] we are interested in all forms of help, technical, political – in the form of exerting pressure on Russia – and legal help, because if there is no cooperation by the Russian side, we still aim to file a complaint to an international tribunal,” he added.

On Thursday Waszczykowski is expected to meet representatives of top Washington think tanks, a ministry statement said.

Source: thenews

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