Europe

German, Polish leaders highlight ties, points of contention

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo arrive for a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo arrive for a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks with Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks with Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, is welcomed by Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, is welcomed by Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, when Merkel visits Poland for talks with several top leaders. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo have stressed the importance of deepening their nations' ties, but also touched on points of contention during the German leader's first visit to Poland since a populist government was elected in 2015.

Szydlo said that Poland strongly opposes the Nord Stream 2 project, a gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russia still in the planning stages, saying it is "not acceptable to Poland."

For her part, Merkel raised the issue of a European Commission investigation into what it sees as rule-of-law violations by Szydlo's Law and Justice party.

In very gentle criticism, Merkel recalled how Poland's anti-communist Solidarity movement inspired her in her youth and spoke of the importance to society today of "rule of law, pluralism and free media."