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Friday, 3 December 2004

An official visit of the President of the Republic of Korea and the First Lady to Poland

On 3 December 2004, the President of the Republic of Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, and the First Lady arrived on a two-day visit to Poland at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski.

Following an official welcome ceremony in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace, a private meeting was held between the President of the Republic of Poland and the President of the Republic of Korea, whereupon the two Presidents chaired plenary talks involving the Polish and the Korean delegations.

After the plenary talks, a signing ceremony was held, at which the following documents were signed:

‘Joint Statement of the President of the Republic of Poland and the President of the Republic of Korea’,

‘Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Economic Cooperation’,

‘Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Tourism Cooperation’,

‘Letter of Intent on Cooperation in Youth and Sports Exchanges between the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Poland and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Korea’.

Subsequently, the two Presidents met with the media and delivered statements.

Addressing those present, the President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski said:

I would like to say how pleased I am to host the President of the Republic of Korea here. This is the first official visit by the President of the Republic of Korea to Poland. 15 years ago, Poland and Korea established diplomatic ties, and political dialogue between our two countries as well as our economic, cultural and scientific cooperation have undoubtedly developed very successfully ever since then. Korean investments in Poland over these years have totalled close to one billion dollars. The range of our mutual trade has also broadened substantially, cooperation between institutions of higher education as well as exchange schemes in culture and sports are expanding. Mr. President’s visit is, on the one hand, a confirmation of this high quality of our mutual relations and, on the other hand, a chance for new ideas, new projects in our relationships.

This is the purpose that is served by the agreements signed a moment ago. This is the purpose that will be served by tomorrow’s major Polish-Korean economic forum, which has attracted the most prominent businesspeople of the Republic of Korea. This is the purpose that will be served by talks to be held by delegation members, ministers of foreign affairs, economy, trade, infrastructure and information technologies. All of them are present here; they will talk with their Polish counterparts.

During this visit, Poland wants to reaffirm its historical interest in the situation in the Korean Peninsula, its amity and friendship for the people of Korea, its firm belief that the utmost should be done to ensure peace and good cooperation in the region, and a good future for the Korean people. Please remember that Poland has served on the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea ever since 1953, that we have been working to alleviate tensions, and that we advocate dialogue and a peaceful resolution of this division that has continued for so many decades. Poland fully supports the activities undertaken at various levels by the Republic of Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia, aimed at democratising the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We hope that a stand-off in this process will be resolved and that the next round will be held in the near future.

Mr. President, your visit creates new prospects also in view of the fact that we joined the EU on 1 May 2004, and the EU is working to forge very close ties with Asian countries within the ASEM framework. Since October, Poland has officially been a participant of ASEM meetings. In October, a summit was held in Hanoi, and our Prime Minister, Marek Belka attended. This also opens up new possibilities, new prospects in Polish-Korean relations. We highly appreciate our cooperation with Korea in the context of combating terrorism and our participation in the stabilisation mission in Iraq. Naturally, we also discussed our cooperation in the UN context, in the context of UN reform. We have agreed to collaborate at various forums, to work together to combat terrorism and other threats facing today’s world.

I am convinced that the visit that has started is indeed a proof not only that we have achieved a great deal in Polish-Korean cooperation, but also that a number of new opportunities are open before us. Thank you very much.
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