(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson’s planned visit to Poland was canceled after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s office told Downing Street he no longer has time to meet the outgoing UK premier.
British and Polish officials discussed several potential dates and provisionally agreed a meeting in Warsaw on Aug. 8 before the plan fell through, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The trip was set to be part of a series of valedictory visits and phone calls between Johnson and various world leaders. Detailed work was drawn up by civil servants to plan the Polish visit, and Downing Street briefed the press that it was in the pipeline. As recently as last week, No. 10 officials believed it was still going ahead.
But to the disappointment of Johnson’s team, Morawiecki’s office then informed them that as well as no longer being able to make Aug. 8, it was unlikely the Polish leader would be able to find the time before Johnson leaves office in September, the people said.
Polish and UK officials were initially scheduled to meet in Warsaw on July 11, but they canceled the visit at the request of the British side after Johnson stepped down as prime minister, the government in Warsaw’s press office said Tuesday on Twitter. A meeting between officials of both governments will go ahead after the new UK cabinet is formed, it said.
Separately, Polish presidential aide Pawel Szrot said preliminary arrangements were also made for Johnson to visit Warsaw on Aug. 1, but the plan fell thorough due to scheduling conflicts. “These things happen in diplomacy, and I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it,” he told Bloomberg News.
Johnson’s spokesman, Max Blain, told reporters that the visit had originally been planned for last week, but that Johnson instead attended the funeral of Northern Irish politician David Trimble. Blain said that no further date had been agreed with Polish authorities.
Johnson’s team has also made a request to the White House for a final phone call with US President Joe Biden, although the two sides have so far been unable to find a time, the people said. The White House declined to comment.
It is expected a call with Biden will still take place before Johnson departs, a No. 10 official said. Johnson also hopes to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron by phone this week, they said.
(Updates with response from Poland in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)
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