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Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Visit by the President of the Republic of Poland and the First Lady to the United States

On 11 October 2005, President of the Republic of Poland, accompanied by the First Lady, arrived on a visit to the United States of North America. On the first day of the visit, President of the Republic of Poland met in a Future of Transatlantic Relations discussion prominent non-government advisers and representatives of Washington political science study centers.
On the second day of his visit, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski held a meeting with President of the USA George W. Bush. Meeting journalists in the Oval Office at the White House President George W. Bush said: 
Welcome back. This is a happy moment, because I get to see my friend again. Its a sad moment because he is leaving office. He has done an extraordinary job. We have built a strong personal relationship, but more importantly, we have a strong strategic relationship with Poland, thanks to your leadership. Aleksander has helped advance the cause of peace by advancing the cause of freedom. He has served as a mentor for new democracies in the neighborhood. He has proven that you can be a friend to the United States and a loyal member of the EU at the same time. We have worked hard together to improve the lots of both our peoples. And, Mr. President, you can leave with your -- your office with your head held high, because of the fine job you have done. I am glad you came back, and its an honor to be able to praise you to the people of your country for a job - a fine job. 
Responding to the words of President George W. Bush, Aleksander Kwaśniewski said:
I want to thank you Mr. President for your very kind words.  This is indeed a farewell visit, one of taking stock of the ten years of my presidency and Polish-American cooperation. We started in a different world and I believe it is a different and better world in which my term of office is just ending. We are together in NATO. Also other countries of Central and Eastern Europe belong to NATO. Both our countries are content the Baltic States are in NATO. Together we are building peace and stability in our region; together we are combating terrorism in many very diverse places of the world. Poland is fulfilling her task loyally and effectively bringing more peace and democratic values, more regard for human rights to many different parts of the world. Over that period of time we cooperated with President George W. Bush making difficult, important and in my recognition much-needed decisions.  We had a chance to talk today about what has been achieved thus far and in what measure that policy will be continued by my successor in office, by the new Polish administration. I have every confidence that as regards issues of fundamental importance, as regards values, as regards Polish-American relations, the policy shall be in the main one of good and effective continuation. I also want to say that we have taken stock of our bilateral issues to date. There is still much ahead of us. I have brought a document you can see on the table in front of President Bush. It is a summary review, as it were, by the Polish side of all that we have achieved in the domain of bilateral cooperation and also as regards regional and transatlantic issues. It is a kind of document that is meant to be, on the one hand, a balance sheet of our cooperation to date and on the hand an encouragement to develop the good cooperation into the future. Since I am about to leave my office and President Bush will stay in his for a few years yet, I put my trust in him to make sure that Polish-American relations take the best possible turn.
Next, President of the Republic of Poland attended a dinner hosted in his honor by President George W. Bush.
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