WARSAW (Poland) — Poland and Israel have made a significant step towards normalizing diplomatic relations, the Polish president stated Tuesday. The Israeli ambassador presented his credentials to Warsaw.

President Andrzej Duba tweeted that he and Israeli President Issac Herzzog had “agreed that normal relations are necessary.”

He stated that Yacov Livne, the Israeli Ambassador to Israel, had taken the “first step” when he officially presented his credentials Tuesday.

Israel hopes that Poland will appoint an Ambassador, and Duda stated that he hoped it would happen “soon.”

On Twitter, Herzog thanked Duda for receiving Livne‚Äôs credentials. He called it “an important first step in advancing Israeli-Polish relations”. He also stated that he expects to get formal documentation from the Ambassador of Poland soon.

Livne stated on Poland’s TVN24 that the warmer relations are occurring at a time when many global challenges face the world, such as instability in the Middle East, Russia’s war against Ukraine, and Poland’s border with Poland.

Livne stated that she believes friendly countries like Israel and Poland can and should cooperate to combat the “challenges” in economic and security spheres.

He said, “The Jewish people as well as the Polish people, there is a great richness in historical ties, historical connections, and this is something we also need to work on.”

The annual educational trip to Poland that thousands of Israeli youth take is one of the urgent issues. Israel had suspended Holocaust study visits due to the pandemic. It said that they would not resume this year because the right-wing government in Poland was trying to control their curriculum.

Poland objects to the presence armed guards during such visits. They claim that it creates an unfounded impression of danger. Warsaw also wants the visitors to have a meeting with their Polish counterparts to discuss the long history of the two countries and establish personal ties.

Recent tensions between the two countries resulted in a deterioration of relations due to spats about Poland’s laws, which were seen as whitewashing some Poles’ deeds during the Holocaust and prohibiting claims for restitution of property seized by Holocaust victims and their families.

Israel recalls its ambassador in autumn 2020, and Poland’s ambassador was told to terminate his mission early last summer.

Since then, relations have improved following Israel-Polish cooperation in Ukraine’s refugee crisis. This was after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th.

Yair Lapid (Israeli Foreign Minister), whose father was a Holocaust survivor, thanked Poland to help rescue Jewish refugees from Ukraine.