By Raymond Rolak
WARSAW– Top officials and diplomats from Poland and the USA gathered to mark the centennial of diplomatic relations recently. Poland established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1919, regained independence on November 11, 1918, the day World War I ended. This was after 123 years of partition by Russia, Austria and Prussia.
“These anniversaries provide opportunities for both countries to celebrate these momentous events together and to renew and strengthen people-to-people ties by highlighting our shared histories, shared values, and cooperation,” the US embassy said through a released statement.
It added that it would send diplomats to cities in each province across Poland to meet and interact with Poles and celebrate the anniversaries together. “Each event will include presentations by spokespeople on the past 100 years of US-Polish relations followed by a cake and coffee,” the embassy further added.
At a prestigious event on Wednesday, US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher said that Poland and America shared a bond, “Far greater than any bilateral agreements, a bond that is far greater than our mutual interests in NATO.” Meanwhile, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his government would do everything to, “Strengthen and cement Polish-American friendship.”
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Morawiecki added that the Polish-US alliance was a partnership, “For a free world, for peace, for prosperity.” He further added, “Today we celebrate, in a special way, the beginning of a joint diplomatic path that made Poland and the United States close allies.”
Ambassador Mosbacher went on to say, “Poland and the United States have been friends and allies for over 240 years, and today we are also the closest of friends and allies. A strong and safe Poland means a stronger America.” She further pointed to the importance of economic ties between the US and Poland, and said she wanted to meet US enterprisers operating in Poland to discuss trade and investment openings.
Historic figures who played an initial key role in the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, included Polish Prime Minister Ignace Jan Paderewski and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson were celebrated. Each was remembered and toasted during the festivities. The gathering was held at Warsaw’s historic and elegant Bristol Hotel, where a newly formed Polish government was initially based after the country recovered its sovereignty more than 100 years ago.
The American embassy in Warsaw noted in a statement that Poland and the United States established diplomatic relations in January 1919. The first U.S. envoy to Poland, Hugh Gibson, presented his credentials to the newly installed Polish chief of state, Józef Piłsudski, four months later on May 2, 1919.
The first Polish ambassador to the United States, Prince Kazimierz Lubomirski, presented his credentials to US President Woodrow Wilson on May 15, 1920.
“Those relationships and the bonds forged between the United States and Poland during the years following Poland’s rebirth still serve as an inspiration to us all,” said Ambassador Mosbacher.
“As we now mark our 100 years of diplomatic relations this year, we are confident that our friendship and shared democratic values will endure for another century and beyond,” Mosbacher added.
It was also announced that U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence will visit Poland in mid-February to attend a conference on the Middle East and for bilateral talks. Pence will travel to Europe from February 13 to 16 on behalf of President Donald Trump and accompanied by Second Lady Karen Pence, the White House said.
Pence will give keynote remarks in Warsaw at an international conference co-hosted by the United States and Poland and known as the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East.