Source AP ©

German-Polish ties warming

Poland’s new foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski and his German counterpart opened what they said was an era of cordial relations after two years of testiness under Poland 's previous government.

"We want to open a new chapter in German-Polish relations," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a news conference with Sikorski, a member of the government of new Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Under Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whom voters ousted in October, Poland criticized plans for a museum in Berlin about Germans expelled from in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe after World War II. And Polish officials bridled at efforts by a small group in Germany to win reparations for property lost then, although the group did not have support from the German government.

The foreign ministers said their discussions were marked by trust and cordiality, even though they talked about sensitive topics, such as a Russian-German gas pipeline that will route gas around Poland. The planned pipeline has led to concerns about lost transit revenue and the possibility of Russia cutting Poland's supply.

Steinmeier said he and Sikorski discussed ways for Germany to help Poland in case of a gas shortage, by reversing the flow of gas and having Poland share German gas reserves.

"These proposals are not new but perhaps they can be newly evaluated," Steinmeier said.

Sikorski said Poland remains opposed to the pipeline, but the new tone could lead to progress.

Poland's new government is led by Tusk's pro-business Civic Platform party, which has promised to repair ties with the European Union and other Western governments.

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