Polish leaders discuss the anti-missile shield negotiations

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Donald Tusk with Lech Kaczyński, 2007

Donald Tusk, the prime minister of Poland, met today with President Lech Kaczyński to discuss the current state of the Polish-US anti-missile shield negotiations. The meeting, held in the Belweder Palace and proposed by Kaczyński, lasted two hours and ended at about 19:15 UTC. Donald Tusk did not want to talk with the journalists afterwards and there was no official press statement issued.

Prior the appointment, the PM denied a report by the daily "Polska", which claimed that the United States government had broken off the negotiations with Poland and opened negotiations with Lithuania.

"I have enough information to say that the Polish-US talks are taken seriously by both sides" Tusk told reporters. "There were no last-chance meetings. Such a serious project requires arrangements which can take months to make. I do not recommend rushing," he said.

Daniel Fried, the Undersecretary of State for political affairs in the United States Department of State, also confirmed that the negotiations continue.

"It's nonsense. We haven't broken off the negotiations. The meeting between the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Minister Radosław Sikorski was positive and constructive. We are convinced that there are some prospects and we are still ready to negotiate with Poland," he said.

The negotiations continue and a break-off is out of the question.

—Donald Tusk

According to a reporter with online news service Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, the president did not leave Belweder immediately after his appointment with Tusk.

Shortly after the PM left the palace, the Secretary of State at the President's Chancellery Anna Fotyga and the minister Michał Kamiński were seen coming to meet the President. They left the palace about 21:00 UTC.