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Wednesday, 2 August 2006

President of the Republic of Poland Meets the President of Georgia

On August 2, 2006, the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński received in the Presidential Palace the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who paid a state visit to Poland.

During the meeting, the Presidents discussed the situation in the Caucasus and the Middle East. In the opinion of the Polish President, Georgia should join the North Atlantic Treaty as soon as possible. President Lech Kaczyński stated that Poland strongly supported Georgia’s aspiration in this respect. This support was also reflected in the strengthening of mutual military cooperation. The Presidents paid a lot of attention to economic issues, particularly the question of energy security.

Also the situation in Ukraine was discussed during the meeting. Lech Kaczyński and Mikheil Saakashvili stressed the significance of Ukraine’s staying on the Euro-Atlantic course.
The meeting was followed by a press conference of both Presidents.

Addressing the journalists present at the conference, the President of the Republic of Poland said (an excerpt):

“Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have talked for more than an hour and a half, though we are still just in the middle of the road. We will continue during a so-called working breakfast. We have discussed extensively the situation in Georgia and Ukraine, and the plans concerning the imports of gas and crude oil from the Central Asia. Obviously, we have also addressed the general situation in Europe, the situation which developed in connection with the last G8 summit.

We have talked about NATO and about how crucial it is to admit Georgia to the Treaty as soon as possible. From Poland’s point of view, this is nothing new since Poland has strongly supported such intention of Georgia from the very beginning. We have also talked about co-operation and bilateral relations in various fields – we will discuss this topic further on. I believe that, on the one hand, at least for me, this was an extremely interesting exchange of information. President Saakashvili is a person with excellent knowledge of a sphere which is so important nowadays – he knows personally many politicians from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and the region in general. For my part, I also shared what I believe to be interesting to tell about the sphere which, in turn, is best known to us. I think that we have very good prospects here. This is what I hope since, let me repeat, Ukraine is a country of great interest for both Georgia and Poland. The situation in Ukraine will soon stabilize and we will be able to go on to more active co-operation. Obviously, this co-operation is there and undisturbed, but in such a period each country will focus on internal rather than foreign affairs. This will be one of our objectives.

We have also discussed some history issues, among these a significant proportion of Georgian officers in the Polish army before the World War II – there were about one hundred and fifty of them – as well as the participation of Georgian fighters in the Warsaw Rising. Mr. President also visited the Warsaw Rising Museum and he appreciated it very much. We will consider erecting a monument to commemorate Georgian officers in both the Polish Army and the Rising. We will continue our conversation for another hour and a half during our lunch, in a somewhat larger circle. So far, our meeting has been confined to a relatively small circle, now we would like to invite some more participants but I am sure this will be an excellent opportunity to share views.

I think that the situation in Georgia is not that dangerous as some have strived to present it. The country is on a good course to economic development and stability, with some success already. Of course, there remains the question of NATO membership. NATO is an exporter of peace and stability; it would be very good to welcome Georgia as soon as possible in the area of this positive export. We hope that – considering the attitude of the US government, which is always very significant here – this will happen relatively soon. In this respect, Georgia has our full support.”

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