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Remarks With Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 7, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Well, hello, everyone. And it’s a delight once again to see my counterpart and friend, and to welcome Minister Sikorski here to the State Department. Poland is a very good friend and a trusted ally. We have deep historical and cultural ties that we cherish. Poland has just completed its tenure as the president of the European Union, where, once again, it demonstrated its leadership. It’s a model and a mentor for emerging democracies; a force for peace, progress, and prosperity around the globe. And the foreign minister and I had a great deal to talk about, but these conversations will continue in our Strategic Dialogue among our officials later this week.I just want to touch on a few highlights. Before I begin, let me once again offer our sincere condolences on behalf of the United States for Saturday’s tragic rail accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones who lost their lives. And as we have already offered, we stand ready to assist in any way.

We are also deeply concerned about the people of Syria, who continue to endure a brutal and relentless assault at the hands of the Assad regime. The minister and I discussed the latest developments, and I expressed our deep appreciation for Poland’s diplomatic role representing the United States in Damascus. And I want especially, Minister, to express our appreciation for the personal efforts of your ambassador in assisting U.S. citizens.

The regime’s refusal to allow humanitarian workers to help feed the hungry, tend to the injured, bury the dead marks a new low. Tons of food and medicine are standing by while more civilians die and the regime launches new assaults. This is unacceptable, and we agree completely with the great majority of the international community. The regime must, as it promised last November, withdraw its forces, release political prisoners, permit peaceful protests, and allow international journalists to do their job, which is to tell the truth.

Through the Friends of the Syrian People group and other avenues, we are working to increase our pressure on the regime to end its attacks on civilians and to allow humanitarian access everywhere, as well as for it to meet its commitments under the Arab League Plan. It is past time for all Syrians to break with Assad and stand against this bloodshed and for a better future. It is also past time for those nations that continue to arm and support the regime to bring an end to the bloodshed. We urge all nations to work together to support the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

Given its own history, Poland understands better than many how important and difficult it is to stand up to tyranny. Poles remember the difficult choices they had to make, and they value their hard-won freedom. And I want to applaud the leadership of Poland during this tumultuous last year. They’ve shared their experience and their wisdom with representatives from many countries that are struggling on the path toward democracy. And I want also to acknowledge that through the leadership of Poland at the Community of Democracies, they have provided tangible support for civil society, connecting activists and officials with veterans of previous transitions. We will continue to work closely with Poland to see what more we can do.

We also discussed a wide range of common concerns from Iran to Belarus. We are working closely with Poland on many security matters. And once again, let me thank the Polish people, and particularly their troops serving in Afghanistan, for their service and sacrifice. We also agree that the new missile interceptor that Poland will host, as well as a new American aviation detachment to be stationed in Poland, will be cornerstones of our mutual security commitments. And we look forward to the Chicago summit.

So we covered a lot of ground, and I thank you for your leadership and your thoughtful analysis of the issues before us, Minister, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: Thank you. Thank you, Hillary for those words and for having me here. Always a pleasure. And I hope next time we’ll see each other in Warsaw. Thank you for the condolences. Likewise, we regret the death of the American journalist Marie Colvin, and I am pleased that our diplomats were able to be helpful in taking her body out of Syria.

I agree with you that the democratization agenda is something that Poland and the United States can most effectively and fruitfully do together, because promotion of democracy is something that both of our nations feel in their bones. It’s not our policy, it’s what we are. And we are doing it in both the southern and the eastern neighborhood of the European Union.

As you mentioned, we discussed Belarus, and we’ve drawn plans to collaborate even more closely on monitoring developments in Belarus. We are also following the development of the situation in the Ukraine very closely. And we hope that Ukraine creates political conditions for a bigger and more intimate relationship with Europe and the West as a whole.

We’re coming up to the Chicago NATO summit, and we’ve exchanged ideas on smart defense and on what we can do together to maintain the security of Europe even while the United States cuts its defense budget and cuts its troops – troop commitment to Europe. And there are things that we can usefully do like activating the NATO response force and exercising in Poland. And we are looking forward to your air detachment coming for the first time to Poland on a permanent basis later this year.

We also have a great deal of business in common, and we are looking forward to the Polish American business summit. And it’s not just the energy field; there are other fields where more can be done. And of course, we follow the recent election and the future of our relations with Russia, an important neighbor of Poland’s.

So again, thank you for a good conversation which shows that our alliance is strong and has a great future.

MODERATOR: We’ll take two questions from the American side and two questions from the Polish side today. We’ll start with Scott Stearns at VOA.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, Vladimir Putin looks to be returning to the presidency. You had some critical comments about the first round of voting. Can you tell us what you thought about the second round of voting in Russia and any hopes that the completion of that process might lead to some movement on Russia’s position regarding Syria?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think as the OSCE made clear, there were a number of concerns about this latest electoral process that should be investigated and addressed. And we also remain concerned about the arrests of peaceful protesters, which occurred again on Monday. But the election had a clear winner and we are ready to work with President-elect Putin as he is sworn in and assumes the responsibilities of the presidency.

We are going to be looking for ways to enhance cooperation on a range of difficult issues. You mentioned one of them, Syria. I talked with Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday; I will be seeing him in New York on Monday. We continue to believe that Russia should join the international community and play a positive role in trying to end the bloodshed and help create the conditions for a peaceful democratic transition. And we will continue to speak out where we think appropriate, because as Radek said, this is not what we do, it’s who we are. We believe in democracy, we believe in human rights, we believe in the values that should underpin any great society in the 21st century, and that means for us that we recognize there has to be a lot of internal dialogue within Russia going forward so that the Russian people’s aspirations can be fully realized as well.

MODERATOR: Marcin Firlej from Polish Public TV.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, Minister Sikorski, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the main topic of your discussion, but President Barack Obama in 2010, during official trip of President Bronislaw Komorowski to Washington, promised to include Poland into Visa Waiver Program by the end of his presidency. I would like to ask, what concrete steps have you taken to fulfill this promise? And Madam Secretary, can you assure Poles that they will be able to travel to the United States without visas by the end of this year?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say we know this is an issue of tremendous importance to the Polish people, but it’s also very important to the American people because of our close ties and the many family relations. Later this year, the minister and I will be joining our presidents in Chicago, which I think has the largest Polish population outside Warsaw in the world.

So this is a matter of great concern and commitment. And as you rightly said, President Obama has expressed his support for the pending legislation in the Congress that would create broader participation in the Visa Waiver Program. We are working very hard with Congress to try to get that legislation through. I will be very honest with you. We have strong support and we have strong opposition, and so we need to work together to redouble our efforts. And we have to make sure that Poland can do more right now to move toward what the existing standards are, and then hopefully, if the legislation is passed, to be able to get in position and take advantage of it, including an agreement on data sharing, which we have with 20 other EU countries.

So I know the President pledged that this would be done before the end of his presidency, and probably that will be a little longer than the end of this year. But we are going to continue to work very hard to see that it is accomplished.

MODERATOR: CNN, Elise Labott, please.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. You talked about Syria and increasing the pressure on the regime. Beyond just increasing the pressure, can you talk about tangible ways that you’re working on to help the opposition? Specifically, Secretary Panetta had just told a congressional panel that you’re looking to provide technical assistance and humanitarian assistance. If you could flesh that out a little bit? And there has been a call by many senators to arm the opposition and get militarily involved. I’m wondering if you could – do you feel a lot of pressure on the Hill to do that? And if you could speak to whether you feel that that’s in the offing. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Elise, we have pressure coming from all directions, not only one direction. But what we’re trying to do, and I think the President was very clear on that in his press conference yesterday, is to do everything we can to support the opposition, which is not yet as unified and focused either inside or outside Syria as we hope it could become.

We are working to build a stronger international coalition of support for taking action on the humanitarian level, on the political transition that needs to come in Syria. And we believe that it is a matter of time – we can’t put an exact timeframe on when – but we think that Assad and his regime will not be able to survive. So we do think it’s appropriate to help the opposition, but where we’re focused on is how we help them be more unified, communicate more clearly, have a message to all their Syrian counterparts who are not yet convinced that it’s in their interests for Assad to go. And I think that it’s – we recognize it’s a challenging situation. But I don’t know that it’s useful for me to go into any greater detail than what the President said yesterday and what Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey are testifying to publicly today.

MODERATOR: The last question is for —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Can Minister Sikorski say something?

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: Just at the end, I’d like to give a couple of sentences in Polish.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. Good, good, good. Okay.

MODERATOR: So the last question for (inaudible).

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, there are opinions that after recent Vladimir Putin’s win in the Russian presidential elections, Russia might even harden its line on anti-missile – American anti-missile defense in Europe. Would the United States be willing to make any concessions to accommodate possible Russian concerns in this matter?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have been very clear that missile defense is a matter for NATO. NATO has made a decision. We believe that it is in all of our interest to carry forward and implement that decision. Poland, as you know, was the first country to commit to hosting an element of the European missile defense architecture. It was the first to bring into force a basing agreement. Poland’s support for the Phased Adaptive Approach is a strong pillar within the NATO collective security commitment, and we are going full speed ahead. We have every intention and we’ve taken every action to demonstrate our seriousness.

Now, we’ve also made it clear that we would love to cooperate on missile defense against mutual threats with Russia. That is not only a U.S. position, that is also through NATO that we have sought to discuss this at the NATO-Russia Council. Thus far, we’ve not seen a lot of movement, but we are going to continue to press that with the Russians and hope that there will be an agreement at some point that could be in both of our interests. But Russia has no veto over what we do in NATO. Our commitment is to our NATO allies, to our Article 5 collective security obligations, and missile defense is an integral part of that.

And then I think Radek wants to also say a few words in Polish.

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (In Polish.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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Remarks With Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Before Their Meeting


Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 3, 2011

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good morning. And 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.

As we grow our military partnership, we continue to expand economic ties between the Polish and American people, particularly in the area of energy. Yesterday, our two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation in developing clean and efficient energy technologies. This and other energy initiatives will expand economic opportunities for both our people and the Polish people and reduce Poland’s and Europe’s dependence on any one source of energy.

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. Poland’s example becomes only more important as more people demand that their voices be heard.

So we look forward to growing our security cooperation, creating more economic opportunities, and keeping our longstanding friendship and our devotion to democracy forever vibrant.

So thank you again, Minister Sikorski, for being here with me. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: Thank you, Madam Secretary, for those kind words about my country. Thank you for the invitation and for your personal engagement in Polish-American relations. I feel that it is fitting that our meeting is taking place on the eve of Poland taking over the EU presidency. Our goal is that our tenure make Europe stronger. Poland weathered the economic crisis better than any of our European neighbors and counterparts. We are committed to making Europe’s recovery both timely and successful. Cooperation with the United States is a part of that mission.

The meeting that we are having today is being held during a crucial moment for the Middle East and the North African region. We Poles, as you mentioned, know something about starting democratic change, and I’m very glad that we together, at the Community of Democracies last year, showed that we care about this agenda and we anticipated it. I am convinced that Europe and the United States have a role to play in that ongoing struggle.

We are on the side of ordinary citizens who want to control their lives and who are at last demanding their rights.

The EU and the United States are responsible not only for EU’s southern but also for its eastern neighborhood, and this is demonstrated by Poland’s and the United States’ unified response to the rigged elections in Belarus. And I wanted to thank you for synchronizing your position with the EU and for your strong presence at the Solidarity with Belarus Conference.

I endorse every word that the Secretary of State has said. I look forward to our discussions. If I may say just one sentence in Polish for our press.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. Or more than one sentence.

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (In Polish.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

 

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U.S.-Poland Bilateral Missile Defense Signing and Joint Press Availability With Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
City Hall
Krakow, Poland
July 3, 2010

MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.) Ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure to announce the signing ceremony of the protocol amending the agreement concerning the deployment of the ballistic missile of defense interceptors in the Republic of Poland. The protocol will be signed by the Honorable Yatsik Naydair, Under Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland; the Honorable Lee Feinstein, U.S. Ambassador to Poland. And the ceremony will take place in presence of the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State; the Honorable Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland; the Honorable Bogdan Klich, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Poland.
(Applause.)
MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.)
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (Speaks in Polish.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a great pleasure for me to be back in Poland and in the beautiful city of Krakow. And I thank the Foreign Minister for his gracious welcome and a very substantive, productive meeting.
We are very committed to the bonds between our two nations. The United States and Poland have so many connections of history and culture, of family, of values, and that brings us closer together as we chart a new course in the 21st century. We’re also NATO allies, and the United States is deeply committed to Poland’s security and sovereignty. Today, by signing an amendment to the ballistic missile defense agreement, we are reinforcing this commitment. The amendment will allow us to move forward with Polish participation in hosting elements of the phased adaptive approach to missile defense in Europe. It will help protect the Polish people and all of Europe, our allies, and others from evolving threats like that posed by Iran.
Americans are proud to stand with Poland. Poland’s success is a testament to the power of democracy to transform lives, unleash human potential, and drive positive change. I’m especially pleased to be here to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Community of Democracies, an American-Polish initiative. And this weekend, Poland will renew its democracy by holding a second round of presidential elections. The United States applauds the commitment to democracy by the people of Poland. Whichever candidate is chosen, the United States will continue to be your friend and partner.
The strength of Poland’s democratic institutions has never been clearer. I know the sorrow is still fresh for all those lost in April’s terrible plane crash. Over the years, Poland has shed more than her share of tears. But once again, the resilience, the resolve, the recommitment by Poland has been an inspiration to the United States and the American people. We have so much to work on together.
And I am pleased we are deepening our cooperation on clean energy and energy security. Polish and American experts from both the public and the private sectors recently participated in a round table in Washington on a range of issues including clean coal technologies, renewable energy, nuclear power, shale gas, and smart grid applications.
And, Mr. Minister, I am very pleased that Poland has agreed to participate in the global shale gas initiative which is focused on tapping into unconventional gas resources to drive economic growth and lower emissions. So let me thank you once again not only for our partnership, but for the commitment that you represent to the Polish-American relationship. And I thank the people of Poland for their continuing inspiration to my country and the world.
MODERATOR: (In Polish.)
QUESTION: Thank you. I am Bob Burns from Associated Press. Minister Sikorski, I unfortunately couldn’t hear your — the translation of your remarks and I don’t speak Polish, but I’ll just forge ahead anyway.
On the missile defense question, does your government feel this system, this new system as proposed by the Obama Administration, is really adequate for Poland, in light of the fact that the new missiles that are envisioned for Poland will not be here and operational for several years?
And if I may ask a question of Secretary Clinton as well on the same subject, do you — is there some reason for concern that this agreement and moving ahead on this system will reinvigorate Russian opposition to U.S. missile defense in Europe in general as well as, in particular, the presence of U.S. military forces in Poland? Thanks.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: When President Obama announced the new configuration of the system, we did say that we liked the new configuration better, but I think you didn’t believe us. But I hope now that we have signed the annex, I hope you do believe us, because it’s based on existing technology and, therefore, is more likely to be built and to be effective. And it is capable of protecting NATO and Poland and the United States, of course, from a bigger range of threats. And we uphold declarations from the time of signing the original agreement that we want the facility to as transparent as possible. We would like the Russian Federation, in particular, to have confidence that the facility is built for the declared ends and, therefore, on a reciprocal basis, we would be happy for it to be inspected.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I couldn’t say it any better myself. I think that the phased adaptive approach has so many advantages over the plan that it replaced. And the United States is very committed to going forward. The signing of the agreement today is one more indicator of that. We believe that the phased adaptive approach will effectively defend our friends, allies, and our deployed forces in Europe from evolving missile threats, primarily from Iran.
Now, the first elements of this approach will be available on the time table set forth to defend portions of Europe years earlier than the original plan could have met. And this approach provides opportunities for allied participation. So instead of it being a unilateral U.S. commitment, it is now a commitment of the alliance. And it is very important for us that we get that kind of ownership and buy-in — which we are — from NATO.
With respect to Russia, this is purely a defensive system. It is not directed at Russia. It does not threaten Russia. It is a defensive system to protect our friends and allies and our deployed forces. And part of the reason that the Obama Administration made the change toward the phased adaptive approach is that we did an intensive analysis of what the real threats were. And the real threats come from the development of short- and medium-term missiles on a faster time table from Iran. We continue to look to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, because we think that is in our mutual interest.
MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.)
QUESTION: (Speaks in Polish.) And I have question for — to Secretary Clinton. You said that you’re going to — it’s not going to threaten Russia and that it’s going be in cooperation. Will Russia be included in any way in this project? Will it be a part of missile defense that you’re building? And what are the chances that in eight years it will actually be realized? President Obama and your Administration will be gone by then.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (Speaks in Polish.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, NATO has encouraged Russia to cooperate and even participate in the missile defense efforts that NATO is undertaking against what we view as common threats. Russia has not accepted that offer, but the offer stands. And the United States is beginning discussions with Russia to explore whether there are any circumstances under which the United States and Russia could work together on radar development and deployment or any other aspect of missile defense. We welcome that. We’ve encouraged that.
Thus far, there has not been a willingness by Russia to respond positively, but the door is open. And we have consistently made the case to Russia that we want a whole and free Europe. We want good relations between Europe, the United States, the Euro-Atlantic Alliance, and Russia. And we believe the threats that we all face are common ones and, therefore, we hope that Russia will orient itself more toward working with all of us in meeting those common threats.
QUESTION: What about the time table?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, the time table — we are committed to the time table. It’s a commitment of the United States Government.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (Speaks in Polish.)
MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.)
QUESTION: Arshad Mohammed of Reuters. Secretary Clinton, if I might ask you to look ahead to Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia where you’ll be over the next couple of days, can you shed any light on what thoughts you have on how to try to promote resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, and also of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia disputes. These have been frozen conflicts for many years and seem likely to stay that way. What are your ideas?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there will be more time to discuss this on the rest of the trip, but let me just briefly say the United States is very supportive of the Minsk process which consists of the United States, Russia, and France working together to try to bridge the divide between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. We are working on an intensive basis with respect to that long-standing dispute. We have a full-time, American, experienced ambassador assigned to the Minsk group and I will certainly be discussing this with both the leaders in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
With respect to Georgia, we have consistently opposed the occupation by Russian troops of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and have pushed for a resolution that would restore the full territorial integrity of Georgia. I will certainly be discussing that with the leadership in Georgia. We have raised these issues consistently with Russia and certainly have not seen a lot of the progress in the Geneva process which was established to try to create observers and peacekeeping missions and border security as a stop-gap measure on the way to, hopefully, seeing the end of the Russian occupation. But that is a subject high on my list when I get to Georgia.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (Speaks in Polish.) Perhaps I should say it in English. Poland also strongly supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and the need to resolve frozen conflicts because we now know how quickly they can unfreeze. And just a few days ago in Paris, we held a meeting of the Weimar Triangle, which is to say Poland, France, and Germany, which we invited Sergei Lavrov of Russia. And we made the argument to him that Russia needs to show its credibility on these issues, for example, by helping to resolve the Transnistria issue.
MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.)
QUESTION: Secretary of State, Polish Press Agency. Have you — you have invited Poland to the global initiative for shale gas. How the cooperation will look like, exactly? And some details, please. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: The Global Shale Gas Initiative will bring together interested countries that have both the potential for shale gas development, as well as the will to develop the expertise in order to create the conditions that this resource can be exploited in a safe, environmentally sustainable manner.
We think that Poland, in particular, has a very good opportunity to be a leader in a full range of energy issues, including shale gas. And I was delighted that Minister Sikorsky adopted our invitation to join this initiative. This will be mostly at the technical experts level, because this is a difficult and demanding area to make sure that it is done appropriately. But at the political and national level, this is a very good sign of Polish leadership in the energy sector, because energy security and independence is one of the most important aspects of national security in today’s world.
MODERATOR: (Speaks in Polish.)

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Joint Statement of Secretary Clinton and Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski

Office of the Spokesman
Krakow, Poland
July 3, 2010

The following is a Joint Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski following their bilateral meeting in Krakow, Poland on July 3, 2010.
Begin text:
Through our active participation in the Community of Democracies High-Level Event, the Governments of the United States and Poland recommit to strengthening civil society and promoting good governance and democracy around the globe. It is appropriate that we have returned to Poland to renew our pledge to the Community of Democracies’ principles. It is here where former Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek and United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright championed the adoption of the 2000 Warsaw Declaration launching this organization. U.S. and Polish leadership on democracy promotion is a pillar of our relationship; a natural pairing of two countries that have made great sacrifices for their own freedom and that of others. We recognize that the world is a safer, more stable and more prosperous place when our international partners respect the will of their own people.
In the spirit of that goal, we are pleased the United States intends, subject to Congressional authorization and appropriation, to contribute $15 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation over a period of five years in order to safeguard that camp and educate future generations so that its atrocities may never be repeated.

Today our governments signed a Protocol amending the 2008 Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement. This agreement marks an important step in our countries’ efforts to protect our NATO allies from the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. This is the first agreement that implements the U.S. European-based Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for ballistic missile defense and enables the stationing of a U.S. land-based SM-3 missile defense interceptor system in the Republic of Poland.

Following our agreement last April for high-level discussions on energy security, today we agreed that the Republic of Poland would join with the United States in the Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI). Through the GSGI, Poland and the United States will expand our cooperation to promote environmentally-sound shale gas development in the context of a global forum of selected countries worldwide. We look forward to continuing high-level cooperation on energy, including through a high-level Civil Nuclear Policy Mission to Warsaw later this month.

End text.

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Poland: One of Our Closest Allies

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Remarks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Before Their Meeting
Washington, DC
February 25, 2009

Date: 02/25/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo SECRETARY CLINTON: It is a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here. You know, Poland is one of our closest allies, and our relationships between our two countries, particularly the Polish American community and the many contributions that they’ve made, make this an even more special partnership. So, welcome Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (In Polish.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.
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Brazil: Opportunities and Responsibilities

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I am so pleased to welcome the foreign minister of Brazil to the State Department. Mr. Minister, our countries have a great set of opportunities and responsibilities.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important, then.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s what we’re going to do.
FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you all.
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U.S., Colombia: Much in Common

Photo Opportunity

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary Clinton and Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez Merizalde Before Their Meeting
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the foreign minister of Colombia here. It’s a real pleasure to have the representative of a country that has made so many strides and so much progress, and we have a lot to talk about because there is so much we have in common to work on. Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.

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