Poland: Squaring Off at A Round Table

Squaring Off at A Round Table

The encounter was as historic as the setting. In the glittering white ballroom of the 17th century Palace of the Council of Ministers, 57 people took seats at a massive table built especially for the occasion. Ranged around one side were negotiators for Poland's Communist government, led by the Interior Minister, General Czeslaw Kiszczak. On the other hunched the portly, moustached figure of Lech Walesa at the head of a 25-member team from the banned Solidarity trade union and other opposition groups.

The much anticipated talks, expected to last six weeks, had come at the behest of Communist Party chief Wojciech...

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