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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NORTH AMERICA

  • 22 September 2017

    “If we base our integration on values, we’ve got a future ahead of us,” Minister Witold Waszczykowski said at an annual conference hosted by the Center for Europe Policy Analysis (CEPA), Washington.

    On the last day of his US visit, the chief of Polish diplomacy took part in a debate on enhancing cooperation between the Visegrad Group and the United States, hosted by the leading Washington think tank which deals with Central European affairs and also has an office in Warsaw. CEPA is actively involved in fostering close relations between Poland plus other Central and East European countries and the USA.


    “We should base our integration on values. We’re talking about such values as the family and religion, but also competitiveness and hard work. If we get rid of values, we’re getting nowhere,” said the minister. “We want to grow faster to be able to catch up with the other part of Europe. But instead of competing with us, others want to tie us down. We can’t accept that,” he stressed. “Trade between Germany and Poland vastly exceeds that between Germany and Russia. If Germany is doing fine by trading with Poland, then why are we the subject of debate in Europe?” said Minister Waszczykowski.

     


    During his recent visit to Poland, President Donald Trump strongly supported regional cooperation at a meeting with twelve regional leaders as part of the Three Seas Initiative. The US president’s address in Warsaw sent a strong message of the need to reinvigorate transatlantic and regional cooperation. “Addressing the global leaders at the UN Security Council a few days ago, President Trump emphasised that they have the right and the responsibility to defend their national interests,” said Minister Waszczykowski. “Europe is not divided. There are only competing national interests, which is absolutely normal,” he added.


    Today’s debate in Washington was also attended by Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, Czech Foreign Minister Petr Gajdusek, and Slovak Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok. Among other things, it focused on the recently concluded Zapad17 exercise. “Russia doesn’t feel comfortable speaking at one table to twenty-eight countries, that’s why it tries to handpick a few to discuss the world’s future. This situation is unacceptable to us,” underlined the chief of Polish diplomacy. “Zapad17 exercise is unique. First time after the cold war, Russia has staged a massive military exercise involving more than one hundred thousand troops. NATO’s defence posture doesn’t provoke this scale of military measures,” remarked the chief of Polish diplomacy.


    On the last day of his US visit, Minister Waszczykowski also met Ambassador Kurt Volker, United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, and Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund.

     


    MFA Press Office

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