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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 8, 1996


President Clinton's Meeting with Polish President Kwasniewski

President Clinton met today at the White House with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski to discuss the developing, long-term partnership between Poland and the United States. He expressed admiration for Poland's achievements since 1989 in establishing the fundamentals of a free market, democratic system and both leaders emphasized that Poland's ongoing reforms will continue and deepen. The President noted Poland's role in promoting security, stability and good-neighborly relations in Central and Eastern Europe, in particular with its newly-democratic neighbors. He thanked President Kwasniewski and the Polish people for participation in IFOR in Bosnia.

Both stressed that the Transatlantic community now taking shape must be undivided, extending as far as its common values. President Clinton emphasized that Poland and the Polish people, having struggled long and successfully for sovereignty, security and freedom, have earned the opportunity to become full members of the Western democratic family and its institutions.

The two Presidents expressed support for NATO's enlargement as a key element of Europe's integration, one that threatens no one and will increase security for Europe as a whole. The President expressed his belief that Poland, on the basis of its reforms since 1989 and its current contributions to the building of a more secure, undivided Europe, will have placed itself among those ready and able to join NATO when the Alliance admits new members. Both welcomed the progress already made in the NATO enlargement process, agreed that its steady, determined pace should be maintained and looked forward to the NATO meeting this December, at which the Alliance will decide on the next stage.

The two Presidents welcomed growing U.S. investment in Poland, noting that the U.S. is Poland's number one foreign investor, They also discussed cooperation in fighting organized crime, supporting bank privatization and other areas. President Clinton welcomed Poland's anticipated imminent accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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