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Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Official visit by the President of the Republic of Poland and his Spouse to the Republic of Latvia

In the afternoon hours of 6 July 2005, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and the First Lady ended their visit to the Republic of Estonia and proceeded to pay a two-day official visit to the Republic of Latvia.
After arrival, President of the Republic of Poland took part in an official welcoming ceremony and held a meeting with the President of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberg. Following the meeting, plenary talks were held co-chaired by the President of the Republic of Poland and the President of the Republic of Latvia. 
Next, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and President Varia Vike-Freiberg met journalists.
 
Statement by the President of the Republic of Poland
 
I am very gratified that to have this opportunity to be here today in Latvia, paying an official visit. I wish to thank you Madame President for your warm words. This visit, other than being rich in form and substance, has a sentimental valor for me because my ten-year presidency is drawing to an end and one of the great accomplishments of the time is the fact that both our countries, Poland and Latvia, are together in the EU, are jointly in NATO. We enjoy very good bilateral cooperation. Our political, scientific, cultural as well as economic and commercial relations are developing very well indeed. Although you Madame President have mentioned that our trade is imbalanced, the figures as such are anything but impressive. Currently, imports, exports, generally our trade exchange incrementally grows from year to year. Such growth rates are more an exception than a rule. We can say we have scored a great success that bears its own symbolic emblems. One such emblem was beyond doubt our support to Latvia along your way to NATO, another is the joint presence of Polish and Latvian troops in Iraq, yet another will be the control of our airspace, within the North-Atlantic Alliance, by Polish Air Force in 2006, and such emblem is also our cooperation as members of the EU, to mention just our collaboration during the last Brussels Summit regarding the Baltic Sea region projects. I am pleased that I was able to make my own contribution. I also want reiterate something you have already mentioned, namely that over the six years of our meetings, each and every one with President Vika-Freiberg was not only useful but also personally important to me, other than always being interesting and pleasant. It was always an event. And for this I also want to thank you. I am convinced that irrespectively of who wins the elections in Poland, and in the autumn we shall hold both presidential and parliamentary elections, regardless of what the result is, Polish-Latvian relations shall remain vibrant because we need them. These relations are of value to Latvia, Poland, are of value to the whole Baltic Sea region. There can be no doubt that from the very onset of the big changes, the changes that have been taking place here ever since 1989, and in Poland since 1990, the Baltic Sea region was one that pushed out the frontiers of stability. We exported stability. And that is not all that common, that is not always the rule. Enough to venture a few hundred kilometers down south, just an hour and half going by air, and we are in the Balkans where for great many years it was instability that was exported. There we saw a drama unfold. We were the countries that built, step by step, our prosperity, countries that spread out stability, good cooperation and good neighborly relations in our region. This is a great value. A value, I deeply believe, both Latvia and Poland should continue to preserve with all due care.
 
At the conclusion of the press conference, President of the Republic of Poland and President of Latvia laid flowers at the Freedom Monument. 
At the end of the first day of the visit, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and the First Lady attended an official dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberg and her Spouse. 

On 7 July 2005, on the second day of the official visit to the Republic of Latvia by the President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and the First Lady, the President of the Republic of Poland and the President of the Republic of Latvia held a meeting with Polish expatriate community at the Ita Kozakiewicz Secondary School.
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