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SECURING AMERICA, STRENGTHENING ISRAEL

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Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski on Challenges to the Transatlantic Alliance and NATO

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw SikorskiPolish Foreign Minister Radoslaw SikorskiPolish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski discussed Poland's role as a key player in the Transatlantic Alliance with a group of JINSA leaders at a private, off-the-record discussion in the JINSA offices on February 27, 2009. The Polish delegation to the meeting included Poland's Ambassador to the United States Robert Kupiecki and Poland's Permanent Representative to NATO Boguslaw Winid.

Sikorski, who served as defense minister from 2005 to 2007, addressed a wide range of security challenges faced jointly by Europe and America including ballistic missile defense, the situation in Afghanistan, the future of NATO’s enlargement, Iran and Russia.

Sikorski underlined that in addition to being a reliable American ally, Poland has been a steadfast supporter of Israel in the European Union, the UN and NATO.

Additionally, he described Poland's efforts in the European Union and applauded the EU’s establishment of the Eastern Partnership – a neighborhood policy made up of former Soviet republics Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. Poland and Sweden spearheaded this initiative to help these countries establish structures that could potentially assist their integration into the EU.

Sikorski observed that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission needs greater international support. He underscored the Polish presence in Afghanistan, which numbers 1,600 troops. Minister Sikorski envisions dual "surges" in Afghanistan as the key to achieving stability - a developmental one conducted by the EU and a military one by NATO. There is also a need for a regional approach including international stabilizing efforts in Pakistan.

Concluding the discussion, Sikorski shared thoughts about NATO's future and reminded his audience of Poland’s strong support of American initiatives.

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