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English Section

UPDATE 2: Polish president, PM congratulate Joe Biden on being sworn in as US president

21.01.2021 08:31
Poland’s president and prime minister have congratulated Joe Biden on taking office as the 46th president of the United States, saying they were looking forward to working with America, a major economic partner and a key military ally.
Audio
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.Photo: DPA/AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Conservative Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook: “Congratulations to Joe Biden on being sworn in as President of the United States. I wish best of luck to both [the] President and Vice President Kamala Harris.”

In his English-language post, Morawiecki added: “Poland considers [the] United States to be the pillar of global freedom, stability and peace. Looking forward to working with you!”

Congratulations to Joe Biden on being sworn in as President of the United States. I wish best of luck to both President...

Opublikowany przez Mateusz Morawiecki Środa, 20 stycznia 2021

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Twitter: “I am looking forward to closely cooperating with you, Mr. President, on further strengthening the Polish-American Strategic Partnership.”

Joe Biden during his inauguration as US president in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.
Joe Biden during his inauguration as US president in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA/Patrick Semansky

"God bless Poland and God bless America!" added Duda in his message, also posted in English.

Warsaw, long wary of Russia - its giant neighbour to the east - looks to Washington as a guarantor of Poland’s security.

Ahead of Biden’s inauguration, Poland’s ambassador to America said he hoped ties between Warsaw and Washington would be at least as good as they have been so far.

Kamala Harris being sworn in as US vice president in Washington on Wednesday. Kamala Harris being sworn in as US vice president in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/DPA/Saul LOEB

In an interview for public broadcaster Polish Radio, Ambassador Piotr Wilczek said: "After talks with people in the new administration, I hope we will continue with projects, some of which started under [former US President Barack] Obama, such as strengthening the [American] military presence" in Poland.

As she was preparing to leave her post, the US ambassador to Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher, said earlier this month that Polish-US relations were strong and likely to stay that way after Biden took office in Washington.

Looking back at her time in Warsaw, Mosbacher listed some of her accomplishments during her tenure as ambassador, saying: "We have strengthened the eastern flank of NATO by signing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and establishing the 5th Corps Forward Command in Poznań," western Poland.

'Icon of transatlantic cooperation'

Meanwhile, Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has hailed Biden as "an icon of transatlantic cooperation" and "a politician who throughout his entire career supported strengthening NATO and the Alliance’s open-door policy."

"Members of the Three Seas Initiative are the beneficiaries of these policies," Rau said in a tweet on Wednesday.

"Today this region is the fastest developing part of Europe," he added, referring to a Polish-led regional drive by European countries between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas.

‘No alternative to alliance between Europe and US’

Amid a debate on the future course of transatlantic relations, Poland's Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in November that there was no alternative to an alliance between Europe and America.

“The presidential election in the United States naturally enlivened the debate on the future of transatlantic ties and the role of NATO and the U.S. in ensuring European security,” Mariusz Błaszczak said at the time, in an opinion piece published by the Politico news service.

“In my opinion, the basic principles, values ​​and agreements on which the West’s defense cooperation is based remain unchanged: There is no alternative to an alliance between Europe and the U.S.,” he added.

Błaszczak also said in his piece that “Europe’s alliance with the U.S. within NATO and the presence of U.S. troops on the Continent is the basic foundation of our common security.”

He argued that Poland has enjoyed close ties with America “for many generations, combined with our historical experience and our deep knowledge of the threat of aggressive Russian policy.”

Błaszczak also said that “Polish-American relations are the best they’ve ever been” and that Poles support the presence of US troops in their country and “welcome their increased numbers with enthusiasm.”

He argued that both Republican and Democratic politicians in the United States have noted “the importance of Poland’s strategic partnership” with their country.

Błaszczak's piece appeared after a new US Army headquarters began operating in Poland in November following its official launch in the western city of Poznań.

The new forward-based headquarters of the U.S. Army’s reactivated 5th Corps will handle operational planning and bring more command and control support to missions in Europe, according to military officials.

Poland's president on November 9 ratified a major military deal with the United States under which at least 1,000 extra American troops are expected to be stationed in his country.

The Polish president last month congratulated Biden on his election victory and invited him to visit Poland.

(gs-pk)

Source: IAR/PAP

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.