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Thursday, 7 July 2005

Statement by the President of the Republic of Poland

On 7 July 2005, following the terrorist attacks in London, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski held a meeting at the Presidential Palace with government and special services officials.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President of the Republic of Poland held a press conference. Addressing the journalists, the President said:
On the seventh of July 2005, the world looked on with bated breath once again. International terrorism had struck yet again. As ever before, terrorists targeted defenseless, innocent people. This time - the citizens of London. We are shocked by the news reaching us from London. We share in grief, pain and sorrow with the bereaved families of the victims. Poland stands by our British friends and allies at this difficult moment in time. Our country shall lend all required support and assistance. Our hearts, of all of us, are in London now.
After New York, Moscow, Jakarta, Madrid and Bieslan, the terrorists chose the capital of Great Britain for their hideous attack. The events of today make us aware how terrible a threat terrorism continues to be to world peace, to freedom and security of nations. Terrorism, which feeds on contempt for man, aims beyond all to destabilize and threaten, to wipe out all that think and feel differently.
It counts among its victims people of all nations, cultures and religions. No one can say the problem does not concern him or her. Attack on London is an attack on the very values cherished by all Europeans. And all people of goodwill worldwide. That is why war on terrorism demands determination and solidarity, I repeat – determination and solidarity, calls for concerted action.
Hitting out at vulnerable Londoners, the terrorists struck a blow to us all and we have to prove now that we stand unafraid, united by adherence to a shared set of principles. That we are prepared to stand up in defense of values that are the cornerstones of our civilization – human rights, democracy and life in peace.
We saw two different facets of the contemporary world. On the on hand, the leaders of the most developed countries met – responding to a loud-resounding call of the international community – to discuss effective ways of bringing help to those in the greatest need. And on the other, those that pursue, exploiting human suffering and poverty, their demented ideology. Those that spread destruction and death. I firmly believe that those people will not carry the day, that future belongs to that great majority that want live in peace, that is not indifferent to the fate of others.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I wish to inform you about the conclusions from the crisis management team meeting that had been in session since 4 p.m. and that of mine with government and relevant services officials that just ended. And so my message to you is this: the available information indicates that currently Poland’s security is not endangered. Nevertheless, services responsible for the country’s security remain on alert. Security has been increased at all key points, including airports and railway stations. We have open communication lines with all our allies and partners that inform us of developments on on-going basis.  So far no Poles have been reported among the victims of the attacks. I was informed a moment ago that a Polish woman was wounded but that information is being confirmed. I want to assure you that the Polish Embassy in London follows closely all information given out and will pass it promptly to the public as it becomes available.
I wish to end by casting our minds to yesterday when we watched jubilant Londoners rejoicing the decision granting their city the right to stage the Summer Olympic Games in 2012. We shared in their joy because that choice spells success of Europe and of all those that love sport, Olympic ideals and watching young people engaged in fair competition. Today European solidarity demands that we say in a clear voice that we are with Londoners also in their grief and anguish.
I want to say again that just as on 11 September we all felt citizens of New York; just as on 11 March we were with our hearts in Madrid; so today – on 7 July 2005 – I say to you, on behalf of all Poles, of all my compatriots: Today we are with You.
Today, on this very sad day, we are with Londoners!
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