Polish hero Walesa excluded from national gala

13:10, 10 November 2008

Poland`s president is being criticized

Poland`s president is being criticized for leaving legendary national hero Lech Walesa off the guest list for a bash celebrating Poland`s independence day.

President Lech Kaczynski will greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine at the gala Tuesday, the 90th anniversary of Poland`s independence.

But Solidarity founder and national icon Walesa was left off the list, apparently due to a long-standing rivalry between him and Kaczynski. The snub has sparked widespread criticism in Warsaw.

Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said he would attend the event, but with a sense of discomfort. He said it would be hard to explain to foreign leaders why Walesa was excluded.

AP via International Herald Tribune

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