Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski took part in a Governing Council of the Community of Democracies (CoD) meeting on Friday as he launched his visit to the US.
Foreign minister’s from 30 Governing Council member countries attended the meeting, hosted by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, to discuss Venezuela, North Korea and Iran, and the role of democracy in counteracting terrorism.
The meeting coincided with the International Day of Democracy, which is marked on 15 September.
Waszczykowski welcomed Tillerson’s “many references to Poland, to Warsaw, to history and to President Trump’s visit to Warsaw” in his opening speech.
Warsaw a channel to Pyongyang?
On current threats to global and regional security posed by North Korea, Waszczykowski stressed that Poland is in a unique situation as “one of seven or eight EU countries to have an embassy in Pyongyang and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea having its representation in Warsaw” and that Poland can act as a kind of channel of communication, adding, however, that the key to solving the problem of North Korea lies in China.
Poland to hold CoD presidency in 2019
Waszczykowski announced that Poland was awarded the honour to hold a half-year CoD presidency in 2019 and would host a meeting of the Governing Council.
Tillerson and the newly-appointed COD Secretary General, Thomas Garrett, praised Poland’s commitment to the CoD, an international body founded by the United States and Poland in 2000 as a vehicle to sustain and strengthen democratic values.
Set up in Warsaw, the CoD brings together over 100 countries and its Permanent Secretariat has its seat in Warsaw.
While in the US, Waszczykowski is expected to meet members of the Polish diaspora in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and hold talks on foreign policy with White House representatives, diplomats and experts.
He is also scheduled to meet leaders of Jewish organizations and to attend the 72nd UN General Assembly Session in New York, which Polish President Andrzej Duda is scheduled to address on Tuesday. (