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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 16:22 UK

Sarkozy: Poles won't block Lisbon

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and Polish President Lech Kaczynski
Mr Sarkozy insisted it was Lech Kaczynski himself who agreed the text

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he has received reassurances from Poland that the country will not block the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski had said it would be "pointless" to sign the EU reform treaty.

The agreement, defeated in an Irish referendum last month, must be ratified by all 27 states to come into force.

The two leaders discussed the treaty during a telephone call on Friday, the president's office said.

"The President of the Republic had a discussion with the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski," the statement from the Elysee Palace said.

Mr Sarkozy, it added, "reminded him that the treaty was negotiated by President Kaczynski himself and Poland had pledged to ratify it".

The statement said the Polish president confirmed that Poland would not be an obstacle to the treaty's ratification. There was no immediate comment from the Polish presidency on the decision.

On Wednesday, Mr Kaczynski - a conservative who has long opposed the reform treaty - had said it would not be worth Poland signing it, even though Poland's parliament has ratified it.

Beyond the 'No'

The treaty - intended to streamline EU decision-making following enlargement of the bloc, creating a new EU president and foreign affairs chief - was rejected by Irish voters in a referendum on 12 June.

Although the Polish parliament ratified the treaty in April, it still needs the signature of the president who had vowed not to put his signature to the document unless Ireland managed to overcome its voters' opposition to it.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has also said that the Czech Republic may delay signing the treaty until its future is clearer. Germany has also delayed ratification - until the country's highest court delivers a ruling on legal challenges.

But Mr Kaczynski's comments had placed him at odds with his own prime minister, Donald Tusk, who said the EU would find a way to bring the treaty into force.

EU leaders are due to meet in October to hear from Ireland's prime minister on how to move forward after the "No" vote.


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