Polish-British intergovernmental consultations this fall - FM

Polish-British intergovernmental consultations will be held this autumn, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz announced following a Thursday meeting of Polish and British foreign and defence ministers in Helenów by Warsaw.

The meeting was attended on the Polish side by Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. The British side was represented by Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson.

At a joint press conference following the meeting, Minister Czaputowicz said that the several-hour talks focused on defence and security issues and "aimed at sharing opinions and expectations regarding the July NATO summit."

"We recognise the importance of the Alliance in ensuring security on the eastern flank. We support the strengthening of defence and deterrence capabilities, the Alliance's presence in this part of Europe," said the Polish FM, adding that Poland and Britain also cooperated in "the policy pursued towards our eastern neighbours." "We are in favour of leaving NATO doors open, we strive to strengthen our partners," said Czaputowicz.

He also stressed that relations with the United States were decisive when it came to ensuring security. Czaputowicz said the Thursday talks also covered "difficult international problems", including the EU's policy towards Iran and the importance of talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "We have positively assessed the denuclearization of North Korea and look forward to further developments," he added.

The minister stressed that Poland and Britain also supported the upholding of the chemical weapons ban and the "European aspirations" of the Western Balkan states.

Referring to the topics of Thursday's talks - preparations for the NATO summit in Brussels, Iran, North Korea and the Western Balkans and maintaining the ban on chemical weapons - Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that in all these areas Great Britain and Poland spoke with one voice and walked shoulder to shoulder.

Poland's MoD Mariusz Błaszczak observed that the presence of British troops in Poland and their training with Polish soldiers helped raise Poland's defence potential. He added that the talks also concerned bilateral cooperation between Poland and Britain as well as within NATO, and said that these relations were "exemplary."

Błaszczak said that the talks also referred to industrial cooperation in weapon production and "the procurement of the most modern equipment."

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, stressed that Poland and Britain had a long tradition of cooperation. Referring to the presence of British troops in Poland, he stated that Poland's security was a very close matter for Britain. He expressed hope that new areas of cooperation could be developed between the two countries in future. We will try to create new jobs and prosperity for our countries, combine the efforts of experts and the best specialists, said Williamson.

Referring to the question of migration, Czaputowicz said that Poland noticed the problem of migration and wanted to contribute to its solution, among others, by participating in the sealing of the EU's external borders and in raising the living standards of the inhabitants of North Africa and the Middle East.

"One thing in which we and the EU differ on is the obligatory relocation of refugees, our government and society will not agree to this (...) We are ready to support other instruments (to solve the migration crisis-PAP)," declared the Polish FM. He also noted that there were "over a million" migrants in Poland.

Boris Johnson assured that the UK will spare no effort to solve this problem no matter what its relations with the EU will be. He also assessed that his country was affected by the problem to a lesser degree, because the UK does not belong to the Schengen area.