At a meeting in Weimar, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland endeavored to revive the spirit of cooperation of the “Weimar Triangle”, which was founded in 1991 by their predecessors on the initiative of the German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

The present Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau praised the historical importance of the format;

Without the close support of Germany and France, Poland's path in NATO and the EU would have been “longer and more difficult”.

Johannes Leithäuser

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) assured that “the Weimar Triangle is alive”, that also applies to the present. It is an "important voting body". Maas reported that the list of topics included Afghanistan, Belarus and strengthening Europe's security policy. It is good for French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who presented the plans to the upcoming French Presidency, that he can now be sure of the cooperation between Germany and Poland. Maas said that “despite all the friction and differences that exist from time to time”, the most important achievement is “that Europe has become everyday life for all of us”.

Statements by the Polish parliamentary group leader of the ruling PiS party, Ryszard Terlecki, had recently caused irritation.

He had speculated about the circumstances of a Polish exit from the EU.

Poland's Foreign Minister Rau said in Weimar that Terlecki had made “very hypothetical” statements, that it was a “simulation of a concept”.

A majority of Poles are still in favor of membership in the EU.

But there are “critical voices” who are bothered by an “EU ideological agenda”.

Rau reiterated his government's rejection of the now completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Now we have to work together, also with Germany and France, to reduce the “security deficit” that was created by the pipeline.

The cooperation is to be strengthened

Current German-Polish irritations also include the fact that, contrary to her original intentions, Chancellor Merkel will not be received by Polish President Andrzej Duda on her visit to Warsaw this Saturday. There was "a coincidence of circumstances" and a "mismatch in the appointment calendar" of the President, according to the Polish side.

The endeavor to strengthen cooperation with Poland and France in the Weimar Triangle was marked by symbolic similarities at the anniversary meeting of the three foreign ministers. The three of them planted a memorial beech on the route of the death march on which concentration camp prisoners (including Poles and French) were driven from the Buchenwald concentration camp to Flossenbürg in 1945. On a tour of the city, the ministers saw the monument to Goethe and Schiller and were asked about their impressions. The Polish Foreign Minister remembered that Schiller wrote the text of the Ode to Joy, the melody of which is the European anthem.