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2/2/04 - POLAND FIGHTS TERRORISM - 2004-02-03

Poland is an important partner with the U.S. in the global war against terrorism. Polish soldiers are part of the U.S.-led coalition that freed the Iraqi people from the misrule of Saddam Hussein.

Poland’s president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, was in Washington recently, where he met with President George W. Bush:

“We value our friendship with Poland. Poland is our great friend.”

Mr. Kwasniewski said that the U.S. and Poland “are together as allies in Iraq”:

“I’m sure that we have all chances to finish this mission with success, in favor of the Iraqi people, in favor of the security in the world, in favor of all of us.”

In a joint statement, President Bush and President Kwasniewski, committed the U.S. and Poland “to promote freedom, democracy, human dignity, economic opportunity, and security cooperation in the...Middle East.”

Like the Iraqis, the people of Poland are well acquainted with oppression. During the Second World War, Poland was overrun by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. After the war, Poland became a Soviet Communist satellite state. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the Solidarity independent trade union. Over time, Solidarity became a political force that helped free Poland from Soviet and Communist rule.

In 1999, Poland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- NATO. On May 1st, Poland is scheduled to join the European Union. Today, the U.S. and Poland are partners in trade and investment. Polish businesses will be included in the reconstruction work in Iraq.

As the joint U.S.-Polish statement puts it, the U.S. and Poland “pledge to deepen the strategic alliance that joins our two nations, an alliance rooted in shared values and a common struggle for freedom.”