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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

President: Poland wishes to participate in discussions concerning NATO strategy

Bronisław Komorowski meets with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General

On Wednesday in Brussels, President Bronisław Komorowski announced that Poland wants an active role in discussions concerning the assessment of the strategy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

 

”Today, NATO is assessing the strategy of the Alliance. Poland wishes to take an active part in this discussion while at the same time participating in the making of decisions concerning the future of the important mission in Afghanistan,” Komorowski said after his meeting with the head of NATO.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty as the new strategy of the Alliance

 

The Polish president emphasized that Poland believes that Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is the main element that makes the Alliance purposeful. “I am pleased to hear declarations that Article 5 of the Washington Treaty will be fully confirmed as a result of implementing the new strategy at the NATO summit in Lisbon,” the President added.

In his opinion, the new strategy should also be confirmed by actual decisions making it possible to prepare to observe the provisions of Article 5 of the Treaty.

 

Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that during the next NATO summit, members of the Alliance will work on “further concepts and strategic steps.” He emphasized that they will strive towards ensuring the observance of Article 5 of the Treaty.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty says that an armed attack against a member of the alliance shall be considered an attack against the whole of NATO and member states shall then help the party under attack.

Ending the mission in Afghanistan


“Poland remains adamant that a strategy for completing the military mission in Afghanistan should be clearly defined,” Bronisław Komorowski said. He added that Poland is ready to discuss this issue and remarked that mutual dialogues should continue as part of preparations for the NATO summit in Lisbon.

“I believe in the importance of the claim that the withdrawal of troops from and the reduction of military involvement in Afghanistan may commence in 2011. This is an important statement indeed,” he said.

He mentioned that Poland has spent great amounts of money and invested considerable organisational effort in order to meet NATO objectives and become a member of the Alliance. “Today, both Poland and the Alliance at large face a problem – the cost of Polish involvement in external missions is significant enough to have a negative impact on the technical modernisation of the armed forces. This is also a problem for NATO as a whole,” he emphasized.

Bronisław Komorowski added that he believes “there is a direct relation between the strategy NATO should implement in relation to the entire Alliance and in relation to the functioning of NATO in Afghanistan.”

NATO Secretary General hopes that the “main responsibility” for Afghanistan will be assumed by the Afghanistan people in 2014. “We agreed that we will further discuss the issue of troops in Afghanistan,” Komorowski said. The Polish president also added that he had invited the head of NATO to visit Poland.

Bronisław Komorowski appealed to the government for a strategy for withdrawing Polish troops from Afghanistan to be prepared when he was still Speaker of the Sejm and acting president. This issue was discussed at a meeting of the National Security Council in June. Bronisław Komorowski then said that he believed Poland should be active and propose its own strategy for the mission in Afghanistan instead of waiting for others to take all the decisions. He also said that the involvement of Polish troops in Afghanistan should be reduced in 2011 and that the troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2012.

Relations with Russia


There were also questions concerning relations with Russia. “Russia should be treated as a partner and NATO does consider it a partner. There is a special partnership with Russia and we cooperate with the country as the NATO Council,” Rasmussen said. He hoped that the partnership with Russia would continue to develop as it does now.

According to the Polish president, mechanisms facilitating cooperation between Russia and the EU and between Russia and NATO should be implemented. “This is a chance to improve the security of the entire region. Poland is also involved in establishing cooperation with Russia. There are great hopes connected with this,” he said.

 

(PAP, own information)
 

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