[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[July 10, 1998]
[Pages 1218-1219]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Joint Statement on United States-Polish Relations
July 10, 1998

    President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek of Poland met 
today at the White House to discuss Poland's anticipated entry into 
NATO, common efforts to advance regional cooperation in Central and 
Eastern Europe and steps to deepen the close bilateral relations between 
the United States and Poland. Vice President Gore met separately with 
the Prime Minister earlier today and hosted a luncheon for the Prime 
Minister, his delegation and members of the Polish-American community.
    The President and Prime Minister Buzek stressed the paramount 
importance of the U.S. Senate vote on NATO enlargement. They welcomed 
Poland's entry into the Alliance. Prime Minister Buzek declared that 
this step will fulfill the aspirations of the Polish people to belong to 
the Transatlantic community, guaranteeing the security of a sovereign 
and democratic Poland. President Clinton responded that Poland's 
membership in the Atlantic Alliance will advance the interests of the 
American people in a secure, undivided Europe. Both leaders agreed that 
NATO is the essential foundation of transatlantic security and 
reaffirmed their support for NATO's ``open door'' policy for aspiring 
new members, as an indispensable instrument to strengthening stability 
and eliminating the old dividing lines in Europe.
    President Clinton expressed strong support for Poland's strides in 
building ties with its neighbors and efforts to promote stability, 
democracy, and free market economics throughout Central and Eastern 
Europe. The two leaders discussed efforts already under way to establish 
trilateral economic cooperation among the United States, Poland and 
Ukraine, as well as Poland's efforts to establish peacekeeping 
battalions with Ukraine and Lithuania. They resolved that, as allies, 
they should expand such common efforts to strengthen democracy and 
regional stability.
    The President applauded Poland's active role as Chairman-in-Office 
of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and 
thanked Prime Minister Buzek for Poland's strong contribution to the 
international effort

[[Page 1219]]

to create stability in the Former Yugoslavia. He particularly praised 
Poland's participation in both IFOR and SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
    President Clinton praised Poland for the bold, free-market reforms 
it has pioneered since 1989 as proof that the legacies of communism can 
be overcome. Prime Minister Buzek expressed profound gratitude for the 
American assistance provided during the difficult early years of its 
free market transformation. The leaders noted that Polish effort and 
sacrifice combined with United States assistance has produced several 
important successes in the transformation of the Polish economy. They 
noted particularly that:
    Poland's progress in banking reform enabled the 10 contributing 
governments to authorize release to Poland in April of the $450 million 
($221 million U.S.) they had contributed to the Polish Bank 
Privatization Fund, set up in 1992.
    The Polish-American Enterprise Fund (PAEF) has used $257 million 
provided by the U.S. government for capital and technical assistance to 
great effect in supporting the emergence of Poland's vibrant, free 
market economy. The two leaders discussed the future of the PAEF. They 
agreed that final disposition of the PAEF's assets can be achieved in 
ways that further enhance Polish-American relations and advance our 
mutual interests in building a prosperous and democratic Europe.
    The remaining U.S. government assistance is now being used to help 
the Polish government to continue this transformation in a number of 
critical areas, including local government and pension reform.
    Given Poland's remarkable progress and integration into the 
competitive global economy, both governments took note of the new phase 
in our economic relationship based on investment, trade and other forms 
of cooperation, with private sectors in the lead. Both governments 
pledged to take steps to help bolster mutually beneficial trade and 
investment, noting that the U.S. is already the leading foreign investor 
in Poland. The U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and 
Agricultural Affairs will visit Warsaw soon to develop this bilateral 
consultative mechanism on economic issues in Polish-American relations.
    Poland and the United States welcomed their intense and regular 
bilateral dialogue in other areas as well. They noted the 
accomplishments of our Bilateral Working Group on Defense Matters and 
agreed to continue to use this as a key mechanism to prepare Poland for 
full integration into NATO's military structures. They also agreed to 
hold regular consultations on regional and global issues.
    Both governments will work to increase cooperation on law 
enforcement. As part of this effort, the United States will work with 
Poland to conduct cooperative prosecutor and police training in Poland 
and regionally to strengthen our ability to combat transnational crime. 
The United States applauds Poland's efforts to develop a Polish 
International Training Center for Specialist Police Forces which will 
serve an important role in regional efforts to combat crime.
    The United States and Poland welcome the enlargement of the European 
Union as an essential step in completing construction of a Europe that 
is truly whole and free. The United States supports timely accession of 
Poland to the EU and looks forward to Poland's early and active 
participation in the Transatlantic Dialogues. Both governments pledge 
their support for the further development of transatlantic cooperation 
beneficial for all countries involved.
    The President also recognized Poland's considerable contributions to 
multilateral peacekeeping efforts around the world and announced the 
U.S. Government's readiness to use the Enhanced International 
Peacekeeping Capabilities Initiative (EIPC) to further develop Poland's 
already strong capabilities in this area. The President expressed 
appreciation for Poland's participation in the international coalition 
which pressed the Iraqi government to comply with UNSC resolutions, as 
well as day-to-day representation of U.S. interests in Baghdad. The two 
leaders expressed their determination to work together with other 
interested parties to promote diplomatic resolution to this continuing 
challenge to stability in the Persian Gulf.

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this joint statement.