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Poland dismisses 50 envoys appointed by old right-wing government

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Poland is recalling more than 50 ambassadors appointed by the previous nationalist Law and Justice government, in the latest effort by the new pro-EU administration to improve diplomatic relations abroad.

“The government … believes that the necessary change of Polish ambassadors will help to address the difficult challenges facing Poland’s foreign policy today in a better, more professional manner,” said Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement published Wednesday.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk approved the reshuffle, which includes the dismissal of more than 50 ambassadors and the withdrawal of several candidates, the ministry said.

On Tuesday, Tusk announced that he and Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski would ask Polish President Andrzej Duda to make changes to most embassies.

“Either way, we’re going to have a very massive change in embassies,” Tusk said.

Tusk said it is “not a retaliation,” but that it’s important to “build a team loyal to the Polish state.”

The new pro-EU government of Tusk ― a former president of the European Council ― has vowed to restore democratic standards in the country and improve relations with Brussels, moving swiftly to purge people associated with the former Law and Justice government and to free state media from political control.

But Duda, still loyal to the PiS party, has been critical of some of the changes.

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