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Poland cancels Israeli visit amid row over property restitution

Warsaw

POLAND cancelled a ministerial-level visit by an Israeli delegation amid concerns that the mission would focus on the unsettled issue of Jewish property restitution.

The announcement comes after thousands of Polish nationalists marched on Saturday, demanding that Poland pay no compensation to Jews or anyone else whose properties were confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and later by the Communists.

Poland is the only ex-communist nation without comprehensive legislation addressing property claims.

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"Poland decided to cancel the visit of Israeli officials after the Israeli side made last minute changes in the composition of the delegation suggesting that the talks would primarily focus on the issues related to property restitution," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

After US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Poland to move forward with property restitution laws in February, the issue became a lightning rod for far-right groups, who are campaigning ahead of this month's European Parliament elections. BLOOMBERG