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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » April 23, 2008
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Fresh Clash Over Diplomatic Shakeup?
April 23, 2008   
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Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski announced April 18 that Zdzisław Ryn had resigned from his post as Poland's ambassador to Argentina.

According to the media, Ryn owed the ambassadorial post to his ties with Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, head of the right-wing Radio Maryja station, and Jan Kobylański, a controversial Polish-Uruguayan businessman, president of the Union of Polish Associations and Organizations of Latin America (USOPAŁ), and one of Radio Maryja's sponsors. Sikorski said Ryn had ties with USOPAŁ and added that the organization was not supported by the Polish foreign ministry.

"Our ambassadors should be people able to serve the whole Polish nation rather than people representing a radio station," Sikorski said. Asked whether he had consulted President Lech Kaczyński about dismissing Ryn, Sikorski said he had requested approval for Ryn's dismissal three times in letters to the president but had received no reply. Ryn's dismissal could lead to another power battle between the foreign ministry and the president. Kaczyński has been unhappy about approving the dismissal of other diplomats appointed by the previous government that was headed by his twin brother Jarosław.

Asked to comment on media reports that the foreign ministry planned to close more than 10 embassies and consulates without consulting the president, Sikorski said Polish diplomatic posts would be opened where they were needed most. He added the moves aimed to create a diplomatic service that "will be smaller and leaner perhaps, but more effective." According to the media, the ministry plans to close embassies in Laos, Congo, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Panama, and consulates in Rio de Janeiro and Karachi.
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