Remarks With Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka After Meeting
Secretary Condoleezza Rice Prime Minister’s Chancellery Warsaw, Poland February 5, 2005
As far as the bilateral issues are concerned I would like to mention here two things. First of all we talked about military cooperation. We talked about the United States’ assistance in order to help to modernize the Polish Armed Forces. The second issue was raised during the first meeting Dr. Rice had in Warsaw and it was the issue connected with the visa regime for Poles traveling to the United States. We talked also about some further actions to be conducted in the months and years to come.
And in the last sentence I would like also to mention that Poland is one of the countries with which the United States has run strategic dialogues since last year. This dialogue will be continued and the person to be responsible for the strategic dialogue with Poland on the United States side is going to be Mr. Robert Zoellick, who is the United States Deputy Secretary of State. He used to be a representative for trade affairs, so I want to say that this dialogue will take a new face, more abundant in the economic issues.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much, Prime Minister, for your hospitality and for the excellent discussions that we have just had. We have, of course,had an opportunity to talk about the tremendous ties between Poland and the United States, which are ties of history, for many Americans ties of kinship, and of course, ties most importantly of values. The Polish role in recent years in helping to sustain the momentum toward democratic development and liberty around the world is one that we appreciate so greatly and appreciate your friendship.
We did have an opportunity to talk about a number of issues. I have also talked with the Foreign Minister about them. I would just highlight that Poland’s role in continuing to promote democracy has helped with the Ukrainians, is helping the Iraqis, is helping the Afghans, is enormously important. It is also clear that as the Palestinian-Israeli process moves forward that we are hopeful that Poland, as a country that has good relations with both parties, will be able to play a constructive role in helping in the capacity building of the new Palestinian state in that area. And we talked about some possibilities there.
We also talked about the importance that America attaches to the vibrancy of modernization of the Polish Military Forces, because Poland is of course a key member of the NATO alliance, which is transforming its military forces and making them available, as has been the case in Afghanistan and was the case in the Balkans and is now in the case of training in Iraq, making them available for sustainment of stability operations and provide the basis for peace. So, Prime Minister, you can be certain that we are concerned about and want to contribute to the modernization of the Polish Armed Forces.
Finally, we did talk about a number of bilateral issues and I especially want to say that we are pleased that we believe that we are making some progress on what is a very difficult issue, the visa issue, but one that we have engaged in a spirit of friendship and cooperation and one that we will continue to engage in that way to overcome difficulties in that area. Thank you very much.
If I may just add one final note, I had an opportunity when I was with the foreign minister to say this, but I want to say it in the presence of the Prime Minister, as well. The tremendous contribution that Poland made to the Iraq that we see emerging. The tremendous gratitude that we have for the Iraqi people with what they did on Sunday in facing down terror. But it, in fact, could not have been possible without the contributions of not just the American Armed Forces, but the Polish Armed Forces. I know, Prime Minister, that Poland has suffered losses in that cause and I would just like to say particularly to the families of the fallen but also to the Polish people that that action and that effort on behalf of democracy and freedom is greatly appreciated.
2005/126 Released on February 5, 2005
- Remarks With Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld After Meeting - FOREIGN MINISTER ROTFELD: (in Polish) Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, today we have held talks, which form part of the series of talks that the Secretary of State, Ms. Condoleezza Rice, has been undertaking for the last few days in London and Berlin, as well. Today, she came to Warsaw to hold these talks. We discussed both world and global topics, regional aspects and bilateral relations. In terms of global issues, we discussed the development of the situation in Iraq and the forecasts about how it will change after the elections, which, in our opinion, were a very important event in that country. And that does totally change our optics on Iraq.
- Remarks to the Press En Route to Ankara - SECRETARY RICE: Okay. I just wanted to come back and make just a couple of remarks. We’ve had good meetings obviously in Britain and in Germany and in Poland. We’ve talked a lot about the future and what we can achieve together in the alliance in the future--a lot of discussion in all three places about the prospects for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian issue. We talked a good deal about the importance of the road ahead in helping the parties prepare. In particular, I thought the Polish discussion of what they might be able to do in terms of the building of new institutions, even in the Palestinian territories was…it was important, and something I’d not heard before, that they were interested in doing that.