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Tuesday, 20 November 2001

President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and his Spouse paid an official, two-day visit to the...

On November 20th, President of the Republic of Poland Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski and his Spouse began an official, two-day visit to the Republic of Austria. After the President and his Spouse were ceremonially greeted in the yard of the Hofburg Palace by Mr. Tomas Klestil, President of Austria and his Spouse, the Presidents held talks in private. Polish and Austrian journalists were briefed on the meeting. We were of the same opinion as regards both, international solidarity and combating terrorism as well as the enlargement of the European Union - emphasized President Tomas Klestil and added: I complimented President Kwaśniewski on the report of the European Commission that provides a plainly positive assessment of Poland highlighting accomplishments in developing democracy and market economy. There remain some important outstanding issues for negotiations but we can be optimistic about Poland`s ability to fulfill all the requirements necessary to gain full membership in the European Union in 2004. Austria supports Poland`s endeavors along the road towards the European Union. President of the Republic of Poland Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski pointed out that every visit of his to Vienna, to President Klestil, is a visit to a good friend, not only a personal one but to a great friend of Poland as well. Today, yet once again - said Aleksander Kwaśniewski - I could reassure myself that our membership in the European Union is regarded with understanding and receives support from the side of the President, the Austrian administration, the major political forces and the Austrian society. There is full understanding and support for our ambition to conclude the negotiations by the end of 2002 and become a full member of the European Union on January 1st 2004. There are obviously problems that will have to be discussed but I would subscribe to President Klestil`s opinion that it is best to give some issues a space of time, that is a time for practical experience, to see which of our apprehensions are justified and which are but stereotypes. Today, these cause some concern but may cease to be a problem in the future. Both the Presidents declared that they jointly assumed patronage over the "Polish Year in Austria 2002", en event that will allow the people of Austria to acquaint themselves better with the rich Polish culture and one that would permit both the nations to get to know each other closer. Late in the afternoon, President of the Republic of Poland Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski met Mr. W Schussel, the Austrian Chancellor.
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