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Polish prime minister: Auschwitz remarks not about refugees

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo,right, and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, left, wave during a welcoming ceremony in front of the Government building in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo,right, and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, left, wave during a welcoming ceremony in front of the Government building in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's prime minister says that heavily-criticized remarks she made last week at Auschwitz weren't about refugees as many people assumed.

Beata Szydlo told the wPolityce website Monday that the comments "in no way referred to the issue of migration" and that "this was not even the context."

Szydlo said last week during a memorial observance at Auschwitz that "in today's restless times, Auschwitz is a great lesson showing that everything must be done to protect the safety and life of one's citizens."

The comments were widely understood as a defence of her conservative government's refusal to accept refugees as part of a European Union resettlement plan.

That position prompted the European Commission to launch legal action last week against Poland, along with the Czech Republic and Hungary.

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