- Security, also military security, is the greatest challenge all of us face today, it is especially important for - and it connects - the United Kingdom and Poland - said the Head of the Ministry of National Defence in London.
On Thursday, 12th October the Head of the Ministry of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz participated in the Polish-British Quadriga consultations of Defence and Foreign Ministers.
Defence and Foreign Ministers met in London with their British counterparts, Boris Johnson and Michael Fallon.
Discussed issues included, among others, prospects for UN Security Council cooperation in view of Poland's non-permanent membership in the Council in 2018-19, the importance of collaboration within NATO during preparations for its July 2018 summit and the significance of mutual relations in the context of Brexit.
- Thank you for the huge effort of the Great Britain, for the decisions taken at the NATO summit in Warsaw last year, which resulted in the presence of British troops on the Eastern Flank. This effort is a guarantee of the safety of our nations and security in Europe. (...) I am glad that we will soon be able to sign a treaty that will elevate our relationship to a new level – stressed Minister Macierewicz.
The Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty will be one of the fundamental elements of future cooperation between United Kingdom and Poland. The treaty will be signed during the December intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw. According to the announcements, The Defense Cooperation Treaty will facilitate, among others, conducting exercises and will strengthen the cooperation in the defence and military sectors in the context of the future enhancement of the operational capability of Polish and British armies. During the talks both sides repeatedly emphasized how important it is that mutual cooperation should continue to develop at a fast pace and across the board, leading to the strengthening of common security - After the Quadriga meeting , we will hold intergovernmental consultations in Poland, in December.
Summing up the Polish consultations, British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon emphasized the solidarity of British troops stationed in Poland and on NATO's Eastern Flank:
- We focused on the present and future defence cooperation. We are living in an increasingly dangerous age, where threats are increasing, from the spread of the global terrror, increasing cyber hybrid warfare and the thousands of Russian troops exercising on NATO’s eastern borders. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Poland on the Eastern Flank, contributing to the NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence and we are signaling our determination to counteract to aggression in the region - said British Defence SecretaryMoreover, Michael Fallon admitted that the Polish-British Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty is the most important result of the London consultations.
- Poland is only the second European country which will have such a treaty. This is a step change in the development of our defence relations. We were allies in the past, we are allies today and we will be allies always - stressed the British Minister.
The ministers agreed that support for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova should be continued. They underlined that the Open Door Policy remains a key element of NATO's stabilization efforts.
During the visit to the UK, the Polish delegation met at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London with representatives of the British Polonia and visited the main exhibition hall of the Józef Piłsudski Institute.
At the Polish Social and Cultural Center in London the Head of the Ministry of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz and Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski met with the Polish media and referred to the most important issues of Quadriga consultations.
The meeting in London was also an opportunity to underlined the role and the heritage of Polish airmen during World War II:
- We are proud of the achievements of the Poles in Great Britain, both those fighting over the years and those represented by the great Polish emigration and government residing in London, guarding the institutions of independence of the Republic of Poland. We are proud nowadays of all of you, who are examples of the Polish-British cooperation. – said the Head of the MOnD.
The role of Polish airmen during the Battle of Britain and the contribution of contemporary British Polonia was also appreciated by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson:
- In the summer of 1940 Polish pilots from the 303 Squadron took off to defend the British skies. They shot down more enemy aircraft than any other squadron. Here in the United Kingdom lives over one million Poles and they contribute to the values we appreciate so much.
Minister Macierewicz also visited memorial places connected with the service of the Polish soldiers during World War II - Polish War Memorial and the Royal Air Force base in Northolt. He laid flowers at the Memorial and gave The Medal of Merit for National Defence of Polish WWII pilot Franciszek Kornicki to his son, Richard.