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US Secretary of State John Kerry on visit to Poland

United States Secretary of State John Kerry came to Poland Monday night on two-day official visit, the first meeting of Polish officials with US diplomatic representative since the 2010 visit by Hilary Clinton.

The list of topics to be discussed during Kerry's visit focuses on security issues, including cooperation within NATO, end of Polish soldiers' mission to Afghanistan and the future of Poland in a American missile defense system. The US missile defense plan for Europe, designed to counter a potential Iran threat, envisages deploying dozens of SM-3 interceptors in Poland until 2018.

Kerry’s visit also comes against a background of the revelations that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were among leaders who reportedly had their phones tapped by the National Security Agency. Polish leaders have not been named among the surveillance targets, but PM Donald Tusk said he wanted to hear Washington's explanations on the matter.

On Monday night Kerry headed to lay a wreath with the inscription "From the American people," on the grave of Poland's first post-communist prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who died last week and was laid to rest on Sunday.

On Tuesday morning the US diplomat met with Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

"European concerns about alleged electronic eavesdropping by US intelligence should not be allowed to cloud trade talks starting soon between the United States and the European Union", Kerry said at a press conference held jointly with his Polish counterpart Sikorski.

"This is a trade partnership. It has the ability to lift all of our countries," Kerry said.

He also said US companies, with government support, would compete vigorously to win major defense contracts being put out to tender by Poland.

He added that the US military's plans for missile defense in Europe, in which Poland will play a part, were " absolutely on target."

We have already, on October 28, broken ground on the phase two, and we intend to provide for the next phase in 2018," Kerry said.

"That is our plan. Nothing has changed in that at this point in time. I don't foresee it changing at this point," Kerry said. "Obviously we will fulfill our obligations and work together with the government of Poland with respect to the deployment."

Minister Sikorski said that his meeting with the US Secretary of State confirmed good, strategic relations between the US and Poland as exemplified by political and military cooperation between the two countries.

Later on Tuesday Kerry will meet with PM Tusk and hold a round table with Polish innovators some of whom are working directly with Silicon Valley companies. On the agenda is also Kerry’s meeting with American and Polish businesses at a lunch organized by the American Chamber of Commerce.

Then he will visit the 32nd Tactical Air Force Base in central Lask to meet US and Polish personnel stationed there.

source: warsawvoice.pl

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