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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS

  • 12 October 2017

    Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski and Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz began a visit to London on Thursday, where they will meet their British counterparts, Boris Johnson and Michael Fallon, within the so-called quartet format.

     

    The quartet meeting – a framework in which Poland and the UK’s ministers of foreign affairs and defence meet on a cyclical basis – will be held for the sixth time since its inauguration in October 2010. The last edition took place in Edinburgh in January last year.


    During the meeting at the British Foreign Secretary’s residence, the ministers will discuss European security co-operation after the UK’s planned departure from the EU, ways to counteract growing Russian influence in Europe and cooperation in the Western Balkans.


    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the main objective of Thursday's consultations is to "strengthen the Polish-British strategic partnership in the field of security and define the areas of cooperation within international organisations".


    The ministers will also discuss "the possibility of bilaterally co-ordinating positions in the UN Security Council in the context of Poland’s non-permanent Security Council membership in 2018-19."


    In a statement preceding the meeting, the British Foreign Office declared that the British side would also reiterate its obligations as part of its so-called extended military presence on NATO’s Eastern Flank, including the guaranteed deployment of 150 British soldiers in the multinational combat group stationed in Orzysz.


    The second rotation of the Light Dragoons Reconnaissance Regiment from Catterick in north-east England is currently on its way to Poland.


    During the visit, further talks on the Polish-British defence cooperation treaty are expected, which is expected to be signed during the Polish-British intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw on December 21.


    The first reference to the possible conclusion of work on this document was made in September by the UK’s Deputy Defence Minister Mark Lancaster during an interview with PAP. Lancaster said that the document should be finalized before the end of the year.


    “Polish-British relations are as good as never before and in the years to come they will be strengthened even further,” Boris Johnson was quoted in the Foreign Office statement.


    He added that "we are delighted to have the opportunity to be able to work closely together on the most important global issues in view of the fact that our ally with converging views – Poland – will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from January (2018)."


    "This meeting is another demonstration of Britain's indivisible commitment to the European security system and our work with allies, such as Poland, to safeguard the stability and prosperity of our continent," Johnson said.


    In turn, Minister Fallon recalled that both countries have a "long, historic military relationship", including their joint struggle in the first and second world wars.


    He pointed out that by sending its regiment to Poland, Britain is showing that it will honour its commitment “to continue supporting allies within NATO to discourage any threats of aggression".


    "We want to strengthen the already so strong relationship (with Poland) and reach an agreement on a joint military partnership that will strengthen our defence industry. We will also work on finalizing the defence and security cooperation treaty," he said.


    A joint press conference is scheduled to take place in the afternoon, following a lunch and discussion sessions.


    Before the bi-lateral talks, the Polish ministers will visit the Polish Social and Cultural Centre, where Minister Waszczykowski will go to the Polish Library containing a unique collection of works by Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (Joseph Conrad). Minister Macierewicz will visit the Józef Piłsudski Institute, which hosts a replica of the Enigma coding machine.


    In the late afternoon Macierewicz will lay a wreath at the Polish Airmen Monument near the RAF Royal Air Force Base in Northolt, from which Polish pilots were dispatched during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.


    He will then meet with the son of the 100-year veteran Franciszek Kornicki, Ryszard, to whom he will hand an official decree bestowing his father with the Gold Medal for the Service of Defence for the Country.


    In September, Kornicki won an Internet poll organised by the RAF Museum and the "Telegraph" newspaper as a result of which he will be one of the heroes of an exhibition next year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.


    Source: PAP

     

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