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Poland honours Tony Blair for helping thousands of Poles come to live in country

Poland honours Tony Blair for helping thousands of Poles come to live in country London, Jan. 30 : Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been given a special award for helping hundreds of thousands of Poles come to live in the UK.

He was honoured at the annual Polish Business Leaders Awards ceremony in Warsaw.

Blair has been paid a tribute for his backing for Poland's efforts to join the EU, opening up the British labour market to Poles and overseeing a growth in trade between the two countries while in office, the Daily Mail reports.

A golden statuette was accepted in his absence by Britain's ambassador in Poland Robin Barnett.

But Blair recorded a video message for the audience at Warsaw's National Opera house, in which he said `he have a lot of admiration for Poland and the Polish people'.

He also praised the Business Centre Club, a group of 2,500 influential commercial leaders which organizes the awards, for its `fantastic work' at a `tough time economically'.

The award, referred to as the `Special Prize', is awarded to a figure from outside the world of business who has helped Poland.

Previous winners include Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton and Bertie Ahern. Blair shared the awards with two Poles, former defence minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz and former deputy prime minister Janusz Steinhoff.

Blair has recently defended his record, saying Polish immigrants did `good work in our country' and that `most sensible people' appreciated their contribution to Britain, the report added. (ANI)