THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2010
Joint Statement by President Obama and President Komorowski of Poland
President Barack Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski reaffirmed today their commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Polish alliance by expanding strategic and defense cooperation, supporting deeper economic links, and promoting democratic institutions in Europe and around the world. The two leaders resolved to continue to work together to ensure that transatlantic ties remain strong and relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
President Obama conveyed his deepest condolences over the devastating and tragic loss of President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria Kaczynska, along with many of Poland’s top civilian and military leaders, in the April 10, 2010 air crash. President Obama reiterated his admiration for the strength of Poland’s institutions and the resilience of its people.
President Komorowski expressed his gratitude to the President of the United States and the American people for their solidarity and compassion in those difficult times.
A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR THE 21st CENTURY
Both Presidents applauded the outcomes of the Lisbon NATO Summit, including the allied commitment to reaffirm the primacy of our Article 5 obligations to one another’s security and to adopt territorial missile defense as a core mission. President Obama confirmed the commitment of the United States to implement the Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense, including basing land-based SM-3 interceptors in Poland as part of this program in the 2018 timeframe, and expressed his gratitude for the commitment by the government of Poland to host this system. Poland’s commitment is an extremely valuable contribution to the development of a NATO missile defense capability.
The two leaders agreed to enhance bilateral defense ties in the spirit of the 2008 U.S.-Polish Declaration on Strategic Cooperation. This includes increased cooperation between our two Air Forces with the aim of strengthening interoperability as NATO allies through regular joint training exercises and establishment of a U.S. air detachment in Poland to support periodic rotation of U.S. military aircraft.
President Obama expressed appreciation for Poland’s contribution to increased worldwide nuclear security, including the removal of highly enriched uranium from the reactor in Poland. President Komorowski expressed Poland’s strong support for the prompt ratification of the New START Treaty, as it would bolster Polish and European security and contribute to the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s disarmament goals. The United States and Poland also emphasized the continued need for practical actions to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems to states of proliferation concern and to terrorist groups. The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to work together under the Proliferation Security Initiative to counter illicit trade in WMD and missiles.
The Presidents appreciated the results of NATO summit in Lisbon regarding Afghanistan and highlighted their support for NATO’s efforts there, where U.S. and Polish troops fight side-by-side. They also noted with satisfaction that ISAF and the Government of Afghanistan are entering a new phase of joint effort. The United States will place 800 U.S. troops under Polish tactical command in Ghazni Province, a testament to Poland’s military leadership, and will also provide logistical assistance by loaning an additional 20 Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Polish military.
SUPPORTING MUTUAL PROSPERITY THROUGH EXPORTS, INVESTMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY
The two leaders discussed their efforts to deepen mutual dialogue on energy security, and to that end they welcomed agreement in principle on a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation on scientific, technical and policy aspects of clean and efficient energy technologies. They underlined their respective governments’ readiness to cooperate in good faith and in a fair, open and transparent manner on a broad range of energy-related issues, including civilian nuclear power, unconventional gas, energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean power resources in Poland. They welcomed new and continuing efforts under the Global Shale Gas Initiative.
JOINT EFFORTS TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY IN EASTERN EUROPE AND AROUND THE WORLD
Pointing to the successful democratic transition of Poland and other Central European states, President Obama cited Poland as a model for other countries striving to build democratic institutions and praised Poland’s leadership in the Community of Democracies.
The United States and Poland call for genuinely free and fair presidential elections in Belarus on December 19. President Obama and President Komorowski reiterated their strong support for the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative, designed to strengthen ties between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and to spur reform and strengthen democracy in those countries. The two leaders hailed NATO’s historic decision in Lisbon to create a strategic and modern partnership with Russia. The United States and Poland are pursuing complementary policies of strengthening ties with Russia.
EXPANDING CITIZEN CONTACTS
The two leaders committed to expanding the Fulbright program; our two governments will also discuss expansion of the Parliamentary Youth Exchange. President Obama and President Komorowski applauded the partnership between the Polish American Freedom Foundation and leading U.S. companies to bring Polish university students and young professionals to the United States for internships in the private sector.
President Komorowski thanked President Obama and the American people for their hospitality, and extended an invitation to President Obama to visit Poland.