“The Belvedere Forum is about strengthening the relationship between our people, so we can face the future together,” said Wendy Morton, Minister for European Neighbourhood and America's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, who takes part in the 5th Polish-British Belvedere Forum in Warsaw.
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“We all know that the UK and Poland have shared important moments throughout our history, particularly in relation to security and defence from the enigma code, and Polish fighters played a critical role in the Battle of Britain to our close cooperation in NATO today. And we have been brought even closer by the Polish diaspora, here in the UK that shared history that deep partnership and friendship is something that we must always cherish and look to build upon, as we face the challenges and opportunities in front of us,” the British Minister said in her speech at the forum.
She emphasised the UK's commitment to renewing and strengthening the relationships with Poland, and all of the country’s European friends. She also highlighted the UK’s commitment to the security, prosperity and democratic future of Europe.
The Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau also talked about the British involvement in Poland’s and Europe’s security. British soldiers are present in Poland, the armed forces of the two countries also cooperate in the Baltics. He also discussed other security concerns such as Russian pressure and Zapad-21 military activities as well as the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
He emphasised how security is not possible without knowing one another, which is also a purpose of the forum. He recalled that governments could not create a good and lasting relationship between the two countries, just by themselves.
The trade between Poland and Great Britain is a vital element in the cooperation. Mr Rau recalled that Britain's volume of imports from Poland is similar to those from Ireland, UK’s neighbouring country.
Both Ministers have looked back on the past few months and how the world has changed in the perspective of COVID-19. Ms Morton thanked UK Poles for their help during this time. “I'd like to pay tribute to the outstanding contribution that Polish communities in the UK have to native British society throughout this pandemic. They have been on the frontlines, teaching our children. Keeping vital businesses running and saving lives, in our National Health Service, the contribution that they continue to make to life in the UK is irreplaceable,” Ms Morton said. The British Minister also shed light on the need for climate awareness. The 5th Belvedere Forum takes place on September 15-16. It gathers non-governmental business academic and expert organisations from Poland and Britain supporting dialogue and exchange of ideas.
The topics of the forum include Polish-British social relations, business and international relations, such as the Polish-British Post Brexit relation and post COVID relationship challenges for the next generation green transformation as well as the common cultural heritage.
The media patronage over the event was taken by TVP World.