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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > May

Remarks With Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz After Their Meeting

Secretary Colin L. Powell
C Street Entrance
Washington, DC
May 6, 2003

(11:30 a.m. EDT)

Secretary Powell and Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz following their meeting on May 6, 2003. [State Department photo by Michael Gross]SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning. Both the Minister and I have to get to other meetings, so we will have to keep this brief. But it is a great pleasure to welcome my colleague, Foreign Minister Cimoszewicz, and we had a good discussion. I had the opportunity to thank the Minister for Polish participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where Polish troops have done a superb job. And now we are looking to the future, and I am very pleased that Poland is once again stepping up to its responsibilities by participating more fully in the activities of the operation of the ORHA --organization, reconstruction and humanitarian activities. And we are looking forward to Poland participating in stabilization activities in the future, and good discussions have been held in that regard.

Poland, the Polish people, have been good friends to the United States; more importantly, good friends to the people of Iraq, willing to join a coalition that liberated the people of Iraq. And on this 60th anniversary commemoration of the Warsaw ghetto uprising -- a symbol of freedom, a symbol of liberation -- people are willing to fight for their freedom, it is a pleasure to welcome the Minister here and to thank him for the support of the Polish people.

Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER CIMOSZEWICZ: Thank you. After a successful military operation in Iraq, now we need to get success in the reconstruction of this country. The Iraqi people deserve that, but also, success or failure in that phase of common activity in Iraq will have broad consequences, international consequences.

Poland is going to be consistent. We are ready to participate in stabilization activities. We are going to be active in the reconstruction of Iraq. We believe we can share our special and specific experience and knowledge, especially concerning economic transformation as well as institution building at the low level, I mean at the level of local authorities, because in last several years, with our political and economic transformation, we got that kind of specific experience.

We also believe that we need to invite and encourage as many as possible our foreign partners to join us in Iraq, and Poland is very interested in getting to such a situation. We would like to have as many as possible European partners to work together with us. To much extent, our common success will depend on that.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY POWELL: Barry, I only have time for one. I'm sorry, I've got --

QUESTION: And I'm awfully sorry it's off the point, but it's in the paper. Have you had a chance to talk to the French Minister about the report that France permitted Iraqis -- issued visas, facilitated Iraqis' travel to Syria?

SECRETARY POWELL: No.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY POWELL: Forgive me. Forgive me.

(The Secretary escorts the Minister to his car.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Sorry, gang.

QUESTION: Have you looked into those reports at all, though, Mr. Secretary?

SECRETARY POWELL: It is one press report. I mean, I just started my day and I have not looked into it. I don't know the source of it. I don't know if it is accurate or not accurate.

QUESTION: Will you look into it?


Released on May 6, 2003

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