“In recent weeks, as we have seen the dramatic development of events in Afghanistan, we have been able to see how much good came out of Polish-British military cooperation. Many lives have been saved,” Zbigniew Rau, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at the opening of the Polish-British Belvedere Forum.
The second session of the Forum commences at 9:30 CEST. Watch the live broadcast here.
The Minister admitted that despite Brexit he was observing the cooperation of the Polish-British armed forces with “satisfaction.”
“An example of this is the presence of British forces in Poland and the cooperation of our armed forces in the Baltic Sea,” he pointed out.
He also assessed that the COVID-19 pandemic is “testing” Western unity and leadership “in a global context.”
“Brexit is also testing our unity and leadership, which encourages China and Russia to take more assertive, even aggressive actions,” he assessed, referring, among other things, to the brutal suppression of protests in Belarus by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka with the support of Russia.
The Polish FM said that he believed that Brexit could become a platform for strengthening bilateral ties in the future. He noted, however, that this year he saw the first “challenges” associated with the UK leaving the European Union.
“Britain’s new strategy is geared towards engaging in the Pacific region, and EU commitments are receding into the background. In my opinion, if Britain wants to act globally, it should start with Europe. You are not only welcome here, but indispensable.” he stressed.
“The British are and will remain our close allies, key economic partners and friends united by a common democratic tradition, the past and the future,” Mr Rau declared.