In recent weeks, as we watched the dramatic development of events in Afghanistan, we have been able to see how good Polish-British military cooperation has resulted. Speaking at the opening of the Polish-British Belvedere Forum on Wednesday, Zbigniew Rau, the foreign minister, said many lives had been saved.
Rao noted that in the last weeks of August, when the Taliban captured Kabul and the US forces withdrew from Afghanistan, Poland evacuated its citizens, Afghan affiliates and citizens of allied countries from there. “We have direct examples of what could result from military cooperation between the British and the Poles,” he noted.
He stated that despite Brexit, he “watches with satisfaction” the cooperation of the Polish-British armed forces. “An example of this is the presence of British forces in Poland and the cooperation of our armed forces in the Baltic Sea,” he said.
The head of Polish diplomacy said he believed that Brexit could become a platform for strengthening bilateral relations in the future. But he noted that this year he saw the first “challenges” of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union. “The UK’s new strategy is geared towards engagement in the Pacific and EU commitments are being pushed into the background. In my opinion, if Great Britain wants to act globally, it should start with Europe. Not only is welcome here, but even indispensable. “, He said.
In his opinion, it is important to answer the question of how Great Britain intends to maintain its presence in Europe and increase its participation in Pacific affairs, if it “intends to reduce the number of armed forces.”
The minister said the pandemic was “testing” the unity and leadership of the West “in a global context”. “This and Brexit are testing our unity and leadership, which encourages China and Russia to take more assertive, even aggressive measures,” he noted, referring to, among other things: the brutal suppression of protests in Belarus by President Alexander Lukashenko with the support of Russia. .
“The British are and will remain our close allies, major economic partners and friends with a shared democratic tradition, past and future,” he added.
Wendy Morton, Under-Secretary of the British Foreign Office, who participated in the event, stressed that Polish-British cooperation is important in many areas. “We remain committed to the security, prosperity and democratic future of Europe,” she said.
She appreciated the contribution of Poles living in Great Britain to the functioning of the country during the pandemic. They have been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, and they have saved lives in our health service. In addition, they have taught our children and run businesses that are essential to our economy. She said their contribution to Britain’s life was irreplaceable.
PSL MP Władysław Teofil Bartoszewski, who was present at the forum’s opening, noted that Brexit was “bad” for Poland. Britain can handle it, but from a European point of view I’m sorry about that. Perhaps Great Britain and the European Union have made agreements, but if you look at economic relations, they have decreased by 30%. ” He pointed out.
He added that Poland and Great Britain should act bilaterally in military matters. Since 2017, we have a cooperation agreement independent of NATO. This has major implications for various aspects – including digital security and intelligence. (PAP)
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