Daniel Fried collected the accolade in Warsaw on Sunday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The US diplomat became the first recipient of the Medal of the Courier from Warsaw, officials said.
Daniel Fried served as US ambassador to Poland from 1997 to 2000. He was one of the architects of Poland’s entry to NATO in 1999, according to officials.
Medal of the Courier from Warsaw
The Medal of the Courier from Warsaw was created this year by the Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, reporters were told.
The new decoration is awarded “for outstanding achievements in strengthening Poland’s bond with the West and for service to Poland’s independence and democracy,” according to officials.
The Medal of the Courier from Warsaw is named in honour of Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, the legendary World War II Polish resistance soldier, nicknamed “the Courier from Warsaw.”
After the war, Nowak-Jeziorański headed the Polish section of Radio Free Europe. In 1996, he was awarded America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by then-President Bill Clinton.
'I was honoured to receive the Medal of the Courier from Warsaw'
After collecting the Medal of the Courier from Warsaw on Sunday, Fried said in a tweet: “Today in Warsaw, I was honored to receive the Medal of the Courier from Warsaw, Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, WWII Polish resistance soldier; fighter for a free, democratic, and secure Poland; advisor to US administrations; and my friend.”
He added: “Jan Nowak believed that Poland could be free at a time when few believed it possible. But he was right. I learned much from his combination of principle and practicality.”
Source: PAP, 1944.pl
Click on the audio player above to hear an interview with Daniel Fried.
He told Radio Poland's Danuta Isler: "We have Russian aggression to deal with and there's a war in Ukraine. NATO is pretty important - no need to tell Poles that. There were some in the United States who believed that NATO had lost its reason for being after the end of the Cold War. Think so now?"