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Monday, 28 June 2004

Participation of the President of Poland in NATO Summit in Istanbul, day 1

On 28 of June, 2004, the President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski took part in a meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government in Istanbul. The main issues discussed during the first day of the Summit were: the situation in Afghanistan, the Balkans and Iraq, the NATO transformation process, and a new partnership initiative. At the beginning of the meeting, President G. Bush made comments on the official handover of sovereignty to Iraq, two days ahead of schedule. The Alliance Heads of State welcomed the earlier handover of power and expressed hope for stability in the country. The decision was taken to involve NATO in assisting the Iraqi government with the training of its security forces. The Alliance confirmed the support to Poland’s leadership of the Multinational Division in Iraq. In his address, President Kwaśniewski underlined that NATO is the most important structure of transatlantic co-operation. In spite of differences on some current political issues, all allies should make an effort to strengthen the Alliance and prepare it for the challenges in the 21st century. The president pointed out that the international situation requires active involvement of all the most important international organisations, including UN, OSCE, EU and NATO. Particularly, the European Union is becoming the most important structure in the area of security. Its role is essential, as it has potential to face the threats of the new century. The Polish president underlined the profound meaning of strategic partnership between NATO and the European Union. He also drew attention to NATO involvement in the Mediterranean and the Broader Middle East, describing it as natural, taking into consideration its importance for the security of Europe and the whole world. Dialogue with all partners in the Broader Middle East is indispensable as well as an effective and comprehensive information policy of The Alliance. During the Summit, President Kwaśniewski met the presidents of Bulgaria and Slovakia. The involvement of the two countries in the stabilisation mission in Iraq was the main topic of discussions.
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