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Polish minister says Le Pen's vision would mean "law of the jungle"

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said after meeting French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen her vision for Europe would mean “a return to the law of the jungle”.

Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski speaks during a news briefing with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin (not seen) in Kiev, Ukraine, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko - RTSNJOS

During a visit to Paris on Sunday, Waszczykowski had an unusual 90-minute discussion with the far-right leader, who is rarely met by top diplomats from European Union states.

Since coming to power in late 2015, his eurosceptic government has clashed with EU officials over what critics call a drift towards authoritarian rule in Warsaw.

“Here is an EU that’s broken apart into a loose union,” Waszczykowski told journalists on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

“Mrs Le Pen also wants less European solidarity in such a union. And this would mean a return to the law of the jungle,” he said. Waszczykowski was in Paris on Sunday to participate in a Middle East peace conference.

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party shares Le Pen’s opposition to the euro currency and is against any EU quotas for the resettlement of migrants from the Middle East.

Its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has expressed ambitions to help reshape Europe into a bloc where member states have significantly more say at the expense of Brussels institutions. Most Poles want to remain in the EU.

Opinion polls predict that Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front will make it to the French presidential election’s second round in May, but they see her losing that run-off.

In Paris Waszczykowski also met Bruno Le Maire, in charge of European and international issues for conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon.

Poland’s relations with France, a fellow NATO member, deteriorated sharply in October when the PiS government unexpectedly scrapped a 13.5 billion-zloty ($3.5 billion) deal to buy 50 Airbus utility helicopters for the Polish army.

Le Pen’s aides were not immediately available to comment on Monday.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels, Ingrid Melander in Paris and Jakub Iglewski in Warsaw; editing by Andrew Roche