Polish Ambassador and Hungary's Chief of General Staff settle dispute

May 15. 2023. – 08:16 AM


Polish Ambassador and Hungary's Chief of General Staff settle dispute
Lieutenant General Dr. Gábor Böröndi, Chief of the Defence Staff and Sebastian Kęciek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Hungary on 12 May 2023 – Photo by Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Budapest / Twitter


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Gábor Böröndi, Hungarian Chief of General Staff, and Polish Ambassador Sebastian Kęciek met after Kęciek expressed his indignation at Böröndi's words in an open letter.

The recently appointed Chief of General Staff had earlier spoken on public television and said that World War II could have been averted if the world had made peace with Nazi Germany before it was too late. At the outbreak of the war in 1939, the Polish state was overrun in a matter of days, first by Nazi and then by Soviet troops – which is why the Polish ambassador in Budapest was understandably outraged by Böröndi's statement.

On Thursday, President Katalin Novák tried to defend Böröndi in an English-language Twitter post, but Kęciek was not satisfied. Now, however, it seems that the dispute between the Chief of General Staff and the ambassador has been settled, as Sebastian Kęciek was received by Gábor Böröndi in his office. Kęciek was accompanied by Colonel Sławomir Mnitowski, Polish Defence Attaché.

"During the meeting, they underlined the outstanding importance of the historic Hungarian-Polish relationship and solidarity, and stressed the importance of belonging to a common alliance, as well as the goals and cooperation formulated in the framework of this alliance,"

the parties said in a joint statement released after the meeting.

"In his statement, Ambassador Kęciek pointed out that the statement about Polish society which was the victim of unprovoked aggression by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union against Poland in 1939 was inappropriate.

Lt. Gen. Böröndi made it clear that he had no intention of questioning the fact that Poland was the main victim and sufferer of World War II."

Their statement added that the Hungarian Chief of General Staff "continues to give priority" to developing cooperation within NATO and is committed to building Hungary's relationship with Poland.

“The visit concluded with an expression of mutual respect, solidarity, consensual cooperation and a strong bond created by shared priorities.”

- the statement concluded.

Speaking at an open event a few weeks ago, Sebastian Kęciek said that while relations between Hungary and Poland remained close, the two countries' views on the war in Ukraine had diverged sharply. Kęciek said that there was a need for honesty and openness in the cooperation between Hungary and Poland, and a need to rebuild the channels of communication both between the two countries and in the cooperation among the Visegrád Four. Read more about the Ambassador's thoughts here.