Poland's outgoing president meets with his Austrian counterpart

Poland's outgoing president meets with his Austrian counterpart and other top officials on Friday in one of his last foreign trips before he steps down later this month. President Aleksander Kwasniewski, accompanied by his wife, Jolanta Kwasniewska, was to meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and his wife, Margit, in Vienna, Fischer's office said in a statement.

The two leaders will discuss the European Union's struggle to adopt a new constitution and budget for 2007-12, Fischer's office said. They also will discuss the situation in the western Balkans and talks now under way on the future status of Kosovo.

Kwasniewski also was to meet with Andreas Khol, the speaker of Austria's parliament, and view an exhibition titled "The New Austria" at Vienna's Belvedere Museum.

Austria takes over the rotating six-month EU presidency on Jan. 1. Kwasniewski's term expires on Dec. 23, when newly elected President Lech Kaczynski is due to be formally sworn in. Kwasniewski, who served two terms as Poland's president in 1995-2005, was by law forbidden to run again in Poland's recent presidential elections, reports the AP. I.L.

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