March 27, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Polish Prime Minister Visits the UAE

This weekend saw Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland, go to the United Arab Emirates to boost bilateral ties between the two countries. He was accompanied by his wife, Malgorzata Tusk, plus a Polish delegation.

Princess Haya Malgorzata Tusk 300x215 Polish Prime Minister Visits the UAE

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Tusk spoke at the UAE-Poland Business Forum organized by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its headquarters on Sunday. He praised Dubai for what he called a symbol of “human endurance, economic development, hospitality and peaceful co-existence.”

Also at the Chamber was His Excellency Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, who spoke about Poland and the UAE’s growing business relations.

“Expanding into East European markets is a strategic priority for Dubai Chamber as it comes in line with the recommendations of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to explore Eastern Europe, therefore we have this forum to discuss strengthening of economic relations with our Polish partners,” Al Ghurair said.

“We see a huge potential for businesses from both countries to work together to enhance their business ties as Poland offers expertise in construction, aviation, oil, gas, energy, banking and finance. Meanwhile, the driving forces of our economy include trade, financial services, logistics and tourism and we look forward to working with you in these common areas of interest,” he added.

While this was going on, Malgorzata Tusk, the Prime Minister’s wife, was meeting with Princess Haya, who is the wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The two women discussed regional and international humanitarian, and women’s issues at Haya’s office.

Sources: WAM, 7 Days in Dubai

Qatari Emir’s Tour of Eastern Europe

Posted in: Qatar

His Highness Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khaifa al-Thani of Qatar is wrapping up a four nation tour of Eastern Europe. His list of state visits were Macedonia, Poland, Albania and Ukraine. He began on Monday in Macedonia.

Qatar Macedonia 210x300 Qatari Emirs Tour of Eastern Europe

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After arriving in Skopje and going through the welcoming ceremony, the Emir was given the the September Medal by President Gjorge Ivanov, which is the highest Macedonian honor. It was given to the Emir as an appreciation for his efforts to broaden ties with the country and Qatar.

“We highly appreciate the efforts the State of Qatar has been exerting under your wise leadership and your far-sighted vision in areas of peace, cooperation, tolerance, and dialogue in the world,” Ivanov told Hamad.

On Tuesday, His Highness met with the President of the Parliament Trajko Veljanoski, where he discussed cementing Qatari-Macedonian bilateral ties even more. The Emir also was given a tour of Skopje, where he saw the Mustafa Pasha mosque, then toured around the Old Market where he was briefed on its most prominent features and the old shops it includes. Accompanying him on this visit was President Ivanov and the head of the Islamic Religious Community, Reis ul Ulema Sulejman Efendi Rexhepi.

Later that day, the Emir left Macedonia and headed to nearby Albania, where he was greeted by Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinas at the Mother Teresa International Airport in Tirana. He was then whisked away to the Presidential Palace and met with President Bamir Topi, plus took part in the welcoming ceremony.

As he did in the previous country, the Emir received Albania’s medal of the highest order – the Iskander Beg. It was given to him for the same reasons as before, which was tightening Qatari-Albanian bilateral ties.

Qatar Albania 300x198 Qatari Emirs Tour of Eastern Europe

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He then later met with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. The meeting included discussions about more bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Also on Tuesday, Emir Sheikh Hamad met with the Mayor of Tirana, Lulzim Basha. During the meeting, Basha presented the Qatari leader with the honorary Medal of Tirana citizenship.

The next day, Wednesday, Hamad headed for Ukraine. In its capital of Kiev, His Highness met with President Viktor Yanukovych and received military honors for a welcoming ceremony. In the evening, there was a dinner banquet in honor of the Emir.

On Thursday, the Emir met with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and the two discussed, once again, cementing bilateral ties. Later in the afternoon, Hamad left Ukraine for Poland. During his flight, he sent a cable to Viktor Yanukovych in which he expressed thanks and appreciation for the hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation during the visit.

In Ukraine, the Emir did not receive any sort of medals.

For his final stop, His Highness went to Warsaw where he was greeted by President Bronislaw Komorowski. After the welcoming ceremony, Hamad went on to meet with Bogdan Borusewicz, the Speaker of the Polish Senate, which is part of the Polish Parliament, and later Prime Minister Donald Tusk. For both meetings, bilateral discussions took place.

Tomorrow will be the Emir’s last day on his Eastern European tour.

Source: Qatar News Agency


Polish State Visit for Swedish King & Queen

Posted in: Sweden

Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Sweden, began a state visit to Poland Wednesday, at the invitation of President Bronislaw Komorowski. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia traveled to Warsaw with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Minister for Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson and Minister Cathy Elmsäter-Sword, plus many members of Sweden’s business sector.

Following a welcoming ceremony, the King and President Komorowski met for talks on such issues as political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries. Poland takes over as EU president starting July 1st, so that topic might have come up.

After the talks came the laying of a wreath in a ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That was followed by lunch with the presidential couple.

Thursday will see the King and Queen take a tour of the Marie Curie Museum. Curie was born in Warsaw, and this year marks her 100th anniversary of receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

King Carl Gustaf will later take part in a conference on sustainable urban design and green energy along with Poland’s environment minister and representatives of Polish and Swedish industry. While that will be going on, Queen Silvia and First Lady Anna Komorowska will visit the Foundation “Nobody’s Children”, which works to support vulnerable children and young people, including through projects for online safety. Protecting children from sexual predators matters a lot to Silvia, and this would be a function she would be interested in.

On Friday, the King and Queen will head to o southwestern Poland and the cities of Wroclaw and Swidnica to see historical landmarks linked between Poland and Sweden. They will also see the construction of a stadium in Wroclaw for next year’s European Football Championship, plus businesses with Swedish links.

After that, Carl and Silvia will return to Stockholm.


Royals React to Polish President’s Death

Posted in: Multiple Royals

As the world reacts to the shocking death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many members of his government in a plane crash in western Russia, royals from around the world sent their condolences to Poland.

UK Poland 300x231 Royals React to Polish Presidents Death

AP Photo/Alik Keplicz/FILE

Among them were Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. They had met with Kaczynski during an official visit only a few weeks ago. They released a statement saying they were “shocked and deeply upset…As guest of the President and his wife only a few weeks ago, they experienced first hand their generous hospitality during what was a very memorable and enjoyable visit to Poland.”

Queen Elizabeth II expressed her condolences by saying,  “On this sad occasion, I recall President Kaczynski’s long and distinguished public service and his role in the Solidarity movement.

“The deaths of many other of Poland’s leading figures, including former president in exile Kaczorowski, only serve to deepen this tragedy. I send my deepest sympathy to you and to the whole Polish nation.”

Norway’s King Harald sent a telegram to acting Polish President Borislaw Komorowski, which said, “I was shocked and saddened by the news of the terrible plane-accident today that caused the death of your president HE Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and so many persons from Poland’s public life and other citizens of Poland.

“On behalf of myself and the Norwegian people I wish to convey to you and the people of Poland my heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences.”

Other royals who expressed their condolences were Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, whom said she was “horrified” by the plane crash, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Sources: AFP AP,

Prince Charles Meets Bison, Polish Tatars

Posted in: United Kingdom

On his second day in Poland, the Prince of Wales saw a side of the country that many do not often know about. He toured a woodland that included rare European bison, and then later visited a Tatar community.

Prince Charles Bison 300x175 Prince Charles Meets Bison, Polish Tatars

Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charles arrived at the Bison Reserve in Bialowieza in eastern Poland in the morning. He witnessed bison out in the wild and was taught about how they survive the winter. Europe’s bison, a cousin of the North American version, number around 500.

Later, the Prince went to Kruszyniany, near the Belarussian border, to meet with Poland’s tiny Muslim Tatar community. He was greeted by the village’s spiritual leader Tomasz Miskiewicz, and was given a tour of the its small wooden mosque.

Charles then was entertained by a group of traditional Tatar dancers and had a taste of their cuisine inside a felt tent, another of this group’s traditions.

Prince Charles Poland 300x230 Prince Charles Meets Bison, Polish Tatars

AFP/Janek Skarzynski

“We made him a ‘pierekaczewnik’, a kind of beef pie, as well as Tatar ‘kolduny’ which are like ravioli stuffed with beef and mutton, plus the water, honey and lemon drink ‘syta’, as well as mint tea and cardamom coffee,” Dzenneta Bogdanowicz, who runs a guesthouse in the village, told AFP.

The Tatars came to Poland in the 1300s to be soldiers in its royal army. They stayed in the country and were granted their own land in the 1500s. Although they maintain their religion and customs, they have long forgotten their Tatar language and have adopted Polish names.

While Prince Charles was doing all this, he was alone. His wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, resigned from taking part in this engagement due to a back pain. Instead, she visited a museum in Warsaw dedicated to the famed pianist Frederic Chopin.

Tomorrow is Charles and Camilla’s last day in Poland. After that, they will head for Hungary.

Charles & Camilla Begin European Tour in Poland

Posted in: United Kingdom

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall started their nine day tour of central Europe Monday, beginning with a three day stint in Poland. The point of these visits is to strengthen ties with the former communist nations who are now part of the European Union.

UK Poland 300x231 Charles & Camilla Begin European Tour in Poland

AP Photo/Alik Keplicz

“The visits reflect the importance which the government places on its relationships with its central European partners, two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall,” a spokesperson from Clarence House, the royal couple’s London residence, said.

“The themes of the tour include highlighting co-operation on environmental and heritage protection, the military, faith and minority communities, culture and youth employment.”

Charles and Camilla arrived in Warsaw in the afternoon and were greeted by President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria at the presidential palace.

After initial welcomes and a photo op, the Prince and the Duchess met with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his wife Malgorzata.

Later, the royal couple went to lay a wreath at the grave of the Jerzy Popieluszko, a Roman Catholic priest who was kidnapped and killed by Poland’s communist-era secret police in 1984. Popieluszko is considered a martyr by the Vatican and is to be beatified as a saint this June.

In the evening came a state dinner hosted by the Kaczynskis’.