‘Weimar Triangle’ seeks common ground

France, Germany and Poland pledged at their summit to cooperate more closely on foreign policy and defence despite a damaging rift over the US-led war in Iraq.

France, Germany and Poland agreed on strengthening consultation on security and defence issues at the meeting of President Jacques Chirac, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and President Aleksander Kwasniewski in the Polish city of Wroclaw on 9 May. The main accomplishment of the summit was that the leaders papered over their differences on military issues and relations with the US. The meeting was originally scheduled to discuss Poland's entry to the EU.

Mr Kwasniewski agreed to increase Poland's cooperation on military issues in the framework of the EU's security and defence process. In return, Mr Chirac and Mr Schröder recognised Poland's wishes for greater political recognition as the largest of the 10 countries due to join the EU in May 2004. The final communiquée of the meeting referred to France, Germany and Poland as "three equal partners".

Polish newspapers stroke an upbeat note after the summit, arguing that the meeting has confirmed Poland's enhanced standing in the world. German and French papers were more cautious, stressing the importance of dialogue and compromise if an expanded EU is to work.

The tripartite "Weimar Triangle" talks between France, Germany and Poland were originally initiated in 1991 at foreign ministerial level with the aim of promoting political conciliation over the unification of Germany and Europe.


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