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  • To serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world

     

  • NEWS

  • 8 May 2013

    “We owe Poland a debt of gratitude,” said US Vice President Joe Biden about joint NATO efforts. Speaking during the May 3rd celebrations held at the residence of Poland’s Ambassador to the US, Ryszard Schnepf, the US Vice President underscored the role played by “Poland’s legendary courage, determination, and pride” in leading all of Central and Eastern Europe from dictatorship to democracy.

     

    In his speech, the US Vice President noted that the experience of building democracy can be useful not just for Poland’s closest neighbours, such as Ukraine: “Today Poland is also a model and mentor for the Arab Spring countries,” Vice President Biden said. He also recalled that as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 1990s, he advocated Poland’s inclusion in NATO.

    “But it is not Poland that owes something to me or other Americans. We owe Poland a debt of gratitude for its loyalty in NATO structures,” underscored VP Biden.

     

    Vice President Biden also emphasized that the US is very serious when it comes to its commitments under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that that an attack against one country shall be considered an attack against every NATO country. Vice President Biden recalled that during his many travels he often heard and experienced many good things about Poles. “The courage and pride of the Polish people are legendary. Your determination brought the wall down for all of Central and Eastern Europe,” the Vice President noted.

     

    Ambassador Schnepf emphasized that he was impressed by the Vice President’s visit and all of his kind words about Poles and Poland. “Vice Presidents almost never visit ambassadorial residences. Poland is an exception; this is a great honour for us. It depicts the importance of our country and the role played by Poland on the international stage,” Ambassador Schnepf told journalists. The Polish ambassador also spoke about the issue of changes to visa-free travel rules. He thanked the Administration of President Barack Obama for its efforts to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program. “Kościuszko and Pułaski would never have made it to America if such regulations had applied at the time,” Ambassador Schnepf joked. He also underscored the significance of the common values cherished by both countries: “Whenever we hear a call for democracy, freedom and human rights, Poles unite with their US friends,” he said.

     

    Joe Biden remarked that ever since his Delaware senatorial campaign, which he won largely thanks to the Polish vote in two key districts, he is sometimes called “Bidenski”. “I don’t know where exactly my Polish roots are from, but my heart is Polish for sure,” Vice President Biden quipped.

     

    MFA Press Office

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