NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday started his two-day visit to Poland by meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Belweder Palace in Warsaw.
Stoltenberg first met the Polish president for a one-on-one discussion, which is to be followed by a plenary meeting, where the president would be joined by Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, head of the National Security Bureau Pawel Soloch and head of the Presidential cabinet, Krzysztof Szczerski.
On Thursday, a van mowed down pedestrians on a popular strip in Barcelona, western Spain, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 others, while an attack in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, saw another death.
Soloch told Polish state broadcaster TVP on Monday that there were ties between the attacks and “at least certain factions of … radical Islam” because “terrorist propaganda … refers to Islamic religion and is undoubtedly linked with religion”.
He added that Islam should not be condemned as a whole, but that links between terror and Islam are “concentrated where there is a Muslim community mainly from Arab countries”, and that Muslim communities “integrate poorly” and are a “natural base for those terrorists”.
Meanwhile, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin said that a demonstration in support of opening the European Union’s borders to immigrants would today be impossible, adding that there has been a shift in the way Western Europe sees the fight against Islamic terrorism.
Gowin, who is also minister for science and higher education, said that politicians from Western European countries increasingly backed Poland’s conservative government’s stance against the European Union’s migration policy.
Soloch told TVP that Poland would be in solidarity with the Europe Union in the fight against terrorism but that it would not take part in Brussels’ plan to allocate a quota of migrants from camps in Europe’s south to the bloc’s member states.
The European Union in 2015 decided to relocate some 160,000 of the hundreds of thousands of migrants in Italy and Greece, but only around 20,000 have been settled. Finland and Malta are the only countries to have met their targets. (vb/str)
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