Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met today with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Before their meeting, Secretar Clinton said:
"...It is such a pleasure for me to welcome not only a colleague, but someone who has become a friend over the last years and whose opinion I value greatly on not just matters related to Poland and Europe, but indeed global issues as well. I look forward to a productive meeting and the opportunity to reaffirm the absolutely unbreakable friendship and alliance between the United States and Poland.
"We have a full agenda that will concentrate on three essential areas: building our mutual security, expanding prosperity, and promoting democracy. On security, we will discuss America's unwavering Article 5 commitment to Poland and to all NATO allies. As was announced by our two presidents in December, we plan to establish a new permanent U.S. air detachment in Poland, build missile defenses in Poland, and as agreed at the NATO summit, develop a contingency plan in the region. And I want to thank Poland and in particular the minister for the very strong contributions that you have made to the fight against extremism in Afghanistan."
Secretary Clinton also spoke to Poland's history and the example it sets as more people around the world demand that their voices be heard. The Secretary said:
"...Since the days of the Gdansk Shipyards and Solidarity, the Polish people have known that no country can be fully secure and prosperous unless its people have a voice in their own affairs. And in just two decades, Poland has built a transparent and representative government with a vital vibrant civil society. And in fact, Minister, Poland serves as a model for others to learn from. Government officials and civil rights activists from Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, and elsewhere have visited to learn firsthand about your inspiring transition to democracy.
"I also greatly appreciate Poland's partnership in reaching out to the people of Belarus, including holding a donors conference for civil society organizations there. And I look forward to supplementing our strategic dialogue with a democracy dialogue, which will further our cooperation in supporting emerging democracies around the world."
You can read the full transcript of Secretary Clinton's remarks with Foreign Minister Sikorski here. The Secretary and Foreign Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Clean and Efficient Energy, which you can read about here.