Despite promises by President Barack Obama last December that Poles would not have to obtain visas to enter the United States by the end of his presidency, Hilary Clinton admitted that this promise may have to be broken.
“I know the President pledged that this would be done before the end of his presidency, and probably that will be a little longer than the end of this year,” Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with Minister Sikorski, Wednesday.
President Obama faces elections in November.
“But we are going to continue to work very hard to see that it is accomplished,” she added.
“We are working very hard with Congress to try to get that legislation through. I will be very honest with you. We have strong support and we have strong opposition, and so we need to work together to redouble our efforts,” she said.
Minister Sikorski, meanwhile, thanked the US for its condolences after 16 people died in the train crash in southern Poland at the weekend: “ Likewise, we regret the death of the American journalist Marie Colvin, and I am pleased that our diplomats were able to be helpful in taking her body out of Syria,” he said.
On the situation in Syria – and Belarus, where relations with the West are deteriorating – Sikorski said that he: “agreed with [Secretary Clinton] that the democratization agenda is something that Poland and the United States can most effectively and fruitfully do together, because promotion of democracy is something that both of our nations feel in their bones.
“It’s not our policy, it’s what we are,” Sikorski said.
“And we are doing it in both the southern and the eastern neighbourhood of the European Union.”
Poland’s foreign minister will also be having talks with business leaders on Polish-American trade on his three-day trip to Washington. (pg)