NATO defence ministerial meeting
- We talked today about the implementation of North Atlantic Alliance decisions regarding deterrence and defence policy and about the preparedness initiative. Here is a very large contribution of Poland, the Polish Armed Forces, both in the domain of air and land, as well as in the maritime domain. I particularly remembered the words of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that our contribution to the domain of air force declared during the summit of heads of state in London determined the success of this summit - said Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence in Brussels.
While discussing the security situation in Iraq, the head of the Ministry of National Defence announced that all defence ministers agreed that the NATO mission in this country would continue. - Of course, we are waiting for the opinion of the Iraqi government - it will be of great importance. We want to effectively counter terrorist threats. This mission has a training character and it will maintain such character. There are currently Polish soldiers in Iraq and they will remain in Iraq. We did not withdraw our contingent. We stick to the "together in, together out" principle. We show solidarity to our allies, because we expect such solidarity in a potential crisis - said Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Minister Mariusz Błaszczak also had a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defence Marek Esper. - We talked about Polish - US cooperation, experience resulting from the presence of US troops in Poland and completing the declarations signed by presidents last year - the head of the Ministry of National Defence informed. As he noted, one of the topics raised during the meeting were issues related to the Defender Europe exercise, which is about to begin, which will be the test of the capability to move US troops from the USA to Europe, and then the test of US and other allied forces to move through Poland to the Baltic States. The exercises will check the interoperability of all NATO forces.
During his visit to Brussels, the head of the Ministry of National Defence talked about strengthening bilateral cooperation, among others with the defence ministers of Ukraine, Italy, Romania and Croatia. After meeting with the Italian Defence Minister, Minister Błaszczak announced that Poland and Italy will develop bilateral cooperation in the area of air forces, and Polish pilots will benefit from the experience of Italian F-35 pilots.
As Defence Minister Błaszczak informed, all meetings were held at the request of alliance partners. - I perceive it as a testimony to Polish activity in NATO - added the minister.
The head of the Polish Ministry of National Defence also participated in the meeting of the defence ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) and the United Kingdom, during which the issue of cooperation after Great Britain left the European Union was raised. - We have heard the assurance that we will work to strengthen cooperation between Great Britain and the V4 Group. (...) We talked about how to maintain these relationships and strengthen them in the future - said the head of the Ministry of National Defence.