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Israel’s president offered Polish counterpart a platform to speak at Holocaust forum, Israeli official says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin promised Polish President Andrzej Duda “some kind of platform” to speak if he attended the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, according to a Rivlin official.

The president’s residence director-general, Harel Tubi, told Radio South that Rivlin plans to invite Duda to Israel for his own official visit, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Duda announced earlier this month that he would not attend the forum, which includes some 47 delegations of world leaders, because he was not invited to speak at the main event.

He told the Polish media that he had been asking the organizers of the Jerusalem event to allow him to speak during the ceremony as the representative of the country with the “largest number of citizens who were brutally murdered by Nazi Germans in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.” Duda also objects to the fact that the presidents of governments that collaborated with the Nazis will speak.

Rivlin will attend the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Auschwitz on Jan. 27 and will meet with Duda, Tubi said.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda announced on Tuesday that he would not attend the meeting in Jerusalem and would send the parliament speaker in his place.

Nauseda gave no reason for his decision to cancel, but an unnamed source told The Times of Israel that it was because Putin is being allowed to speak but not Duda.