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  • 28 February 2014

    Meeting with the Isfahan Province governor and laying a wreath in the Polish section of a Christian cemetery dating back to World War II, Minister Radosław Sikorski began his visit to Iran last Friday.

    “Here rest our compatriots who managed to leave the inhumane land but couldn’t go further because of poor health or emaciation. They were welcomed by Iranians, a gesture that we shall always remember and be grateful for,” said the chief of Poland’s diplomacy after laying the wreath.

     

    Almost 20 boarding schools were opened during World War II in Isfahan, former capital of Iran and a cultural and artistic centre. They hosted more than 2.5 thousand Polish children, mainly orphans and half-orphans evacuated from the Soviet Union with the Polish Army under General Anders.

     

    In Tehran Minister Sikorski met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Both ministers expressed their satisfaction with the resumption of high-level political dialogue after a break of nearly ten years. Minister Sikorski recalled that the Polish-Iranian relations date back 540 years. 

     

    The talks also covered regional developments and prospects of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, which was brokered by the P5+1 group. “We are hopeful that the current transitional deal on the nuclear question will become permanent,” said Minister Sikorski. 

     

    Moreover, Poland’s top diplomat referred to the observance of human rights in Iran. “I told Minister Zarif that while I was trying to access a website of a Polish daily in Isfahan yesterday, I was shown a message that the site was blocked by the censorship board,” said Minister Sikorski. “It came as a shock to us, coming as we do from a country that struggled for the freedom of speech,” he added. 

     

    The minister also emphasized the need for human rights dialogue, and said we are concerned about the recent rise in death penalties being carried out in Iran. 

     

    After the meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Minister Sikorski cut short his visit and returned to Warsaw due to the escalating situation in Crimea.

     

     

    Marcin Wojciechowski

    MFA Press Spokesman

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