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UPDATED: 13:25, March 07, 2007
German, Polish parliamentary leaders agree to meet every year
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The leaders of the lower houses of parliament in Germany and Poland said on Tuesday they want to improve relations between their countries and plan to meet once a year.

The visiting speaker of the Poland's lower house, Marek Jurek, and Norbert Lammert, the president of the German Bundestag, have vowed to improve cooperation at a time when relations between the neighbouring countries have soured.

Lammert said an annual meeting - something Germany had previously only arranged with France - would intensify contact with Poland.

Jurek said they would discuss historical issues between the two countries at the first meeting, in October.

Jurek also condemned recent remarks made by German lawmaker Erika Steinbach, which he said were not appropriate.

Steinbach, who heads the Federation of Expellees and is also a lawmaker for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told the Passauer Neue Presse daily newspaper that the parties ruling in Poland are comparable to far-right German groups who was not interested in improving bilateral relations of the two countries.

Jurek said that Steinbach's comment risked aggravating the strained relationship between the two neighbors.

Ties between the two countries had soured since Warsaw's outspoken conservative government came to power with twin brothers Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski as president and prime minister.

Source: Xinhua

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