For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 27, 2004
The Polish-American Alliance for the 21st Century
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
As partners in building a Europe whole, free, and at peace at the end of the 20th century, Poland and the United States will continue to work together, and with our European friends and allies, to achieve a more secure, prosperous, and just world in the 21st century. Today, we pledge to deepen the strategic alliance that joins our two nations, an alliance rooted in shared values and a common struggle for freedom.
The foundation of Polish and American security remains the NATO Alliance, which will maintain its mission to defend its members in the face of new challenges. We welcome Poland's pending entry into the European Union, and affirm that NATO and the EU must work together for the common good of their members and the world. We are determined to strengthen transatlantic relations, forging renewed unity, and acting in common purpose on the many challenges before us. We will do so at the June NATO Summit in Istanbul, where we will celebrate a united, enlarged Alliance of 26 nations in strategic partnership with an enlarged EU, cooperating with Russia and Ukraine, and preparing to handle the security challenges of our time. We will work together to promote democratic and free market reforms in wider Europe, particularly in Ukraine and Georgia, as they strive to strengthen their integration with the Euro-Atlantic community.
We commit our nations to an ambitious goal, rooted in our shared values and experience: to promote freedom, democracy, human dignity, economic opportunity, and security cooperation in the Greater Middle East. Our joint efforts in the war on terrorism, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, are essential for the security of our people today. Yet over the long term, the growth of freedom is vital to unraveling the nexus of threats posed by terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, tyranny, the lack of opportunity, and violent extremism.
Today, American and Polish soldiers are serving bravely in a just struggle against terrorists and in the international effort to bring peace, security, and freedom to Afghanistan and Iraq. We thank them for their dedication and sacrifice.
We agree on the importance of the rapid reconstruction of a sovereign Iraq with democratic institutions and respecting the rule of law. We welcome the widespread international support for this process, and in particular, recognize the vital and growing role the United Nations should play in these efforts.
Polish-American military cooperation since 1989 has proven its value, and we have agreed to increase this cooperation. Poland is embarking on a comprehensive transformation program to modernize its armed forces, strengthening its ability to respond with the United States to global challenges. The United States supports this program. In particular, we remain committed to the goals of the U.S.-Polish Defense Transformation Initiative, and the United States will provide new assistance to Poland in acquiring C-130 military transport aircraft, which will increase the effectiveness and mobility of Polish capabilities.
We note with satisfaction the growing support worldwide for our shared efforts to implement the Proliferation Security Initiative, announced by President Bush in Krakow in May 2003, and we agree to enhance cooperation in bioterrorist attack prevention in Central and Eastern Europe.
Poland and the United States are growing partners in trade and investment, which will grow even faster as Poland continues to improve its business climate. The sale of U.S. combat-proven fighter aircraft to Poland marks an important opportunity to increase defense industry ties and other forms of industrial cooperation and investment. We welcome the interest of Polish firms in participating in the reconstruction of Iraq. To facilitate this participation, building on the recent visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Evans to Poland, the United States will send experts to Poland to provide information on the Iraq reconstruction process and procurement opportunities to Polish firms. In addition, the United States will also establish in Poland a regional center to provide information on an ongoing basis regarding Iraqi reconstruction.
We support contacts between our societies and travel between our countries by our peoples. The United States recognizes that security concerns are imposing inconveniences on legitimate travelers. To improve the ease and safety of such travel, the United States will establish in Warsaw a program to pre-screen visitors traveling from Poland to the United States. We agree to hold regular, High-Level Working Group consultations starting at an early date to discuss ways to enhance travel security and facilitate travel for Polish and American citizens. We look forward as well to enactment of a U.S. temporary worker program that will provide new opportunities to Poles, among others, to work in the United States.
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