Israel, Poland to restore relations strained by Holocaust restitution row

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Poland's President Andrzej Duda attends a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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JERUSALEM/WARSAW, July 4 (Reuters) - Israel and Poland have agreed to improve relations that had deteriorated after Warsaw introduced a law last year limiting the ability of Jews to recover World War Two properties, saying on Monday they would mutually restore ambassadors.

The move marked a shift for new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who as foreign minister had denounced as "anti-Semitic and immoral" the bill affecting property seized by Nazi German occupiers and retained by Poland's post-war communist rulers. read more

"It was agreed that relations would be restored to their proper course," said a statement issued by Israeli President Isaac Herzog after he spoke to his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.

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"Both presidents expressed their hope that any future issues between Poland and Israel will be solved through sincere and open dialogue and in a spirit of mutual respect," it added.

Duda's office said the Polish ambassador to Israel, recalled during the row, should return. Herzog's office said the new Israeli ambassador-designate to Poland would present his credentials in the coming days.

"We are trying to mend our relations with Israel," the Polish president's foreign policy advisor Jakub Kumoch was quoted as saying by news website Onet. "No losers or winners. We give one more chance for normal relations."

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Additional reporting by Alan Charlish, Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Alex Richardson

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