Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski and his British counterpart Boris Johnson have declared that no xenophobia will be tolerated following an attack on a Pole in the UK.
Waszczykowski said he counted on British services to put a stop to xenophobic incidents in the country.
During their joint statements with Johnson, before the start of bilateral talks, Minister Waszczykowski said that they are meeting to discuss issues relating to bilateral relations, the consequences of the UK referendum, security and terrorism.
The Polish minister said that Poland and the United Kingdom had “ambitious plans to continue and even expand their cooperation.”
British Foreign Secretary Johnson, in turn said “our relations have been good in recent years. [...] But it seems to me that now we are moving from the level of good to excellent relations.”
Minister Waszczykowski mentioned Polish-British intergovernmental consultations, which – as he said – will be held still this year or early next year.
“We would like to use the intergovernmental consultations to address a whole range of international issues. We share many views regarding the international situation, the security situation, East policy of the institutions we are members of: NATO and the EU, and on transatlantic issues. Our two states want to maintain strong strategic transatlantic ties," said the MFA chief.
The minister also said he hoped to continue joint consultations between defence and foreign ministers of the two states. Minister Waszczykowski also announced the preparation of an initiative to launch a Polish-British civil society forum.
"The vast group of Poles living on the British Isles is an important element of our cooperation,” stressed Poland’s top diplomat. "We would like to talk about their status, as we have been doing for some time now, "he noted.
Minister Waszczykowski said he was counting on the likelihood that "Poles will retain their status, also after UK’s possible exit from the EU."
"We count on the British government, all the services responsible for the safety of British and European citizens, including Poles, to take care of all those living [in the UK] and to put a stop to the xenophobic incidents that we have witnessed recently," said the Polish foreign minister.
Last Saturday in the town of Harlow in south-eastern England, a group of 20 or so teenagers assaulted two Polish men. Arkadiusz J. died on Monday evening from head injuries at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge. The second man was released from hospital after a short stay.
Johnson said that Poles have contributed greatly to Great Britain’s culture and economy. Echoing the words of Poland’s chief of diplomacy, he stressed that he will not agree to xenophobic attacks in the British society.
"Our society is open and multicultural and we hope to welcome people coming from here, from Warsaw," Johnson said.
Minister Waszczykowski stressed that Poland regards Great Britain as "a major partner in the area of security”.
Johnson underscored that in this respect Poland and Great Britain have "excellent and strong cooperation"; he congratulated Poland on, as he put it, exceptionally successful organisation of the NATO Summit in Warsaw.