Polish president rejected call from US Secretary of State

March 13, 2018

FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday July 6, 2017, Poland's President Andrzej Duda, right, and U.S President Donald Trump attend a news conference at Royal Castle, in Warsaw. According to online news reports published Tuesday March 6, 2018, the Polish President Andrzej Duda cannot count on any meetings with either President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence until Poland changes their controversial new Holocaust law. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, FILE)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Aides to Polish President Andrzej Duda have tacitly confirmed media reports that the president recently refused to accept a call from then-U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The news reports say Tillerson was calling to discuss with Duda possible U.S. action over a new Polish law that makes it a crime to falsely attribute the Holocaust crimes of Nazi Germany to Poland. The U.S. fears it could violate free speech.

Some days later, Duda endorsed the law, but also asked a top court to check if. The verdict may take months to come.

Asked about the reports Tuesday, Duda’s top aide, Andrzej Dera, said that “according to diplomacy’s rules” an official holding the rank of a minister does not make calls to a president.

Another Duda aide, Pawel Mucha, also would not deny the reports but insisted that Poland-U.S. relations are “strategically close.”

Tillerson was fired Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Last week Poland’s foreign minister largely confirmed another Polish media that the U.S. has informed Poland that its president and prime minister should not expect meetings with Trump or the U.S. vice-president until the law controversy is solved.

Minister Jacek Czaputowicz described the U.S. message as being: “It would be good if meetings at the highest level could take place in an atmosphere when these issues are resolved.”

He denied that diplomatic ties were somehow “frozen.”

Update hourly