V4 Summit canceled in Jerusalem after Poland quits over Holocaust crisis

Baku, February 20, AZERTAC

An extraordinary summit of four central European countries in Israel meant by Jerusalem to highlight the sub-alliances it is building in Europe – and by those countries as a way to assert their independence from Brussels – was scuttled Monday when Poland decided not to attend because of what it viewed as offensive comments by acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Even though Warsaw will not be sending Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as was originally scheduled – or Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, which was Plan B after fallout from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s off-hand comments Thursday in Warsaw about the complicity of Poles in Nazi crimes – the prime ministers of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia still arrived Monday evening for Tuesday’s meetings.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet separately for an hour with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Slovakian Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, and then host the three of them for lunch at his residence. Without Poland’s participation, however, the meeting will not be called a Visegrad Group summit, since not all four of the European countries that make up the group will be in attendance. A joint statement that was scheduled when Poland was also participating was scrapped from the schedule.

Poland’s decision not to attend the summit followed an interview Katz gave Sunday to i24 and Israel Hayom where he defended Netanyahu’s original statement and tried to downplay the scope of the crisis.

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