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Poland    PRESIDENT APOLOGISES FOR MOCKING POPE
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski apologised on Tuesday for encouraging an aide to mock Polish-born Pope John Paul II in video footage now being used against him in an election campaign ad.
    The video, first broadcast over the weekend, showed the aide imitating a papal gesture and kneeling to kiss the ground at Kwasniewski's encouragement as they arrived on a 1997 visit to the Polish city of Kalisz.
    "There was no bad will in it. I'm very sorry that it can be interpreted in that way," the Polish news agency PAP quoted Kwasniewski as saying on a campaign trip to the southern city of Myslenice.
    "There was no intention to offend anybody, and especially such a great man as the pope."
    The footage appeared in a campaign ad for Solidarity trade union leader Marian Krzaklewski, who is among a dozen candidates challenging Kwasniewski in presidential elections on 8 October.
   
AP
28 Sep 00



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