Joe Biden: The ties that bind Europe and America are strongest in Poland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Poland long ago captured the heart of the American people. The people in the United States and Poland have deep historic ties that sometimes are sort of mentioned as if they are not so consequential. They are incredibly consequential. They run deep. We share values, and ideals, and countless friendships over the years, and particularly now. The United States deeply appreciates the service and sacrifice of your Polish soldiers, who are real warriors.

I've been there, I've been in Afghanistan. I've seen them. They are genuine warriors, and they are making great sacrifices. We are thankful and proud of your soldiers who are standing alongside our troops in Afghanistan and also in Iraq and the Balkans.

Our two countries are bound together by an American commitment to Poland's security beyond the longstanding ties literally through Article 5 of the Washington treaty, NATO, and by Poland's commitment to our security, which you demonstrated I might add, through Article 5 on 11 September. Without hesitation, you and NATO responded and said an attack on one is an attack on all. Under NATO's Article 5, an attack on one is an attack on all.

Poland's government agrees with us that there is now a better way, with new technology and new information – to defend against the emerging ballistic missile threats.

Our new phased adaptive approach to missile defence is designed to meet a growing threat not only to the United States, but first and foremost to Europe. It's going to meet it with proven technology that will cover more of Europe, including Poland, and will do it more efficiently than the previous system could have, or did. It strengthens missile defence for Europe, it strengthens Article 5, and it strengthens the alliance that turns capability.

Poland is now in a position, and has been for some time, of being sort of a leader of central European countries who are not part of NATO, or not part of the EU. Poland has championed human rights and democracy, has served as a beacon for those ideals for its neighbours, and for that matter, for the whole world.

Taken from a speech given in Warsaw by the US Vice President on Wednesday