A hundred years ago this Nov. 11, Poland regained its independence thanks to the efforts of Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski and President Woodrow Wilson, among others. President Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech included a call for an independent Poland after 123 years of partition. Next year, the United States and Poland will also celebrate the centennial of the establishment of diplomatic relations — 100 years of joy, sorrow, tragedy and triumph, but mostly of friendship and shared values.
The friendship and cooperation between the United States and Poland determined many of the dramatic milestones of the last century. In 1982, support from Pope John Paul II, who was born and raised in Poland, and President Ronald Reagan, who supported Poland’s Solidarity movement, helped Poland break free from the Soviet orbit and emerge as a democratic nation. Today, the friendship and mutual understanding between President Donald J. Trump and President Andrzej Duda enhances the strong history of cooperation between our two nations, which are enjoying a high point in bilateral relations.
The close cooperation between our two countries was stressed in the “Declaration on Polish-American Strategic Partnership” signed at the White House by Presidents Trump and Duda on Sept. 18, 2018. The language of the Declaration underscores that our bilateral relationship is built on a foundation of respect for and commitment to, common democratic values and principles, including freedom, independent institutions and human rights. It also emphasizes the strong ties and common interests between our countries in the areas of security and defense, energy, trade and investment, research and innovation. As ambassadors for our respective countries, we will work tirelessly to ensure that the objectives of the Declaration are carried out through concrete actions.
During President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-White House counsel interviewed Whitaker about joining Trump’s legal team: report Flake slams Trump for doubting Arizona vote count: No evidence of ‘electoral corruption’ Comey talked about sensitive FBI matters on personal email: report MORE’s meeting with President Duda in the Oval Office, he noted, “the security of Poland is very important to me and it’s very important to our country.” In addition to the commitment that the United States and Poland have shared since 1999 as NATO Allies, cooperation on security and defense has always been an important part of the two countries’ bilateral relationship.
By U.S. efforts to enhance Poland’s security, Europe’s security is also enhanced. The nine-month rotational deployments of United States troops to Poland since January 2017, as part of the European Deterrence Initiative, is a tangible demonstration of that commitment. The United States Congress and the Pentagon are considering further enhancements to the U.S. military presence in Poland and our Polish friends are willing to put forth significant resources toward this effort. We believe these actions will help to enhance regional deterrence while underscoring President Trump’s burden-sharing goals.
We both strongly believe that energy security and diversification is vital to every country’s security and independence. A single supplier should not monopolize the European energy market. Projects that obstruct the diversification of energy sources, notably Nord Stream 2, pose a threat to European security. With the advent of the United States–Poland Strategic Energy Dialogue, our governments are taking cooperation to the next level. In recent months, companies from the United States and Poland have signed three major contracts for the import of American Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Poland. This is just the beginning of even deeper cooperation in the future.
Economic security is a cornerstone of security and stability. As economic ties underpin our strategic relationship, we must take advantage of the steady growth in both the United States and Polish economies. Since 1989, United States investments have helped propel Poland’s economic transformation. Now, it is time to increase trade and investment in both directions.
We must harness Poland’s innovative, high-tech workforce so that Poland stands alongside the world’s most developed economies. American companies enhance the economic landscape of Poland, and we would like to see a higher number of dynamic Polish companies operating in the U.S. market. Both the United States and Poland offer great prospects for doing business and we encourage entrepreneurs in both countries, on both sides of the Atlantic, to thoroughly explore these diverse markets.
Poland is a driving force behind the “Three Seas Initiative” of 12 countries between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas, which provides great business opportunities for U.S. companies. It is also a tool for developing cross-border energy, transport and communication infrastructure. We believe this is key to regional growth and security. President Trump recognized the potential Three Seas presents and pledged United States support for it. We are eager to expand the economic and political prospects this project offers to both of our countries.
President Trump, who visited Poland in July last year, fondly recalls the incredibly warm welcome he and the first lady received on the streets of Warsaw. President Duda and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda were honored with a similarly warm welcome to Washington, D.C., this past September. People-to-people ties and shared democratic ideals are the heart of our 100-year-old friendship.
The 10 million strong Polish diaspora in the United States, together with the sizable number of American and Polish exchange program participants and alumni in both countries, deepen our mutual understanding and enhance our cooperation in many fields. As the United States ambassador to Poland and the Polish ambassador to the United States, it is our goal to work hard to strengthen the partnership between our two countries, support our mutual interests and enhance our security.
Today, a century after Poland regained its independence, 30 years after the fall of communism and 20 years after Poland joined NATO, the bond between the United States and Poland is stronger than ever, and we are ready to face the next 100 years together.
Georgette Mosbacher is the ambassador of the United States to Poland. Piotr Wilczek is ambassador of Poland to the United States.