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Ambassador's Briefing Book 2010
9 September 2010
Ambassador Feinstein meets with Lech Walesa on August 31 his office in Gdansk

Ambassador Feinstein meets with Lech Walesa on August 31 his office in Gdansk

Early Fall Activities

Ambassador Feinstein was in Gdansk and Gdynia to mark the 30th anniversary of Solidarity on August 30 and 31 joining President Komorowski, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister Tusk and former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.  Ambassador Feinstein read a statement by President Obama (PDF 67.74 Kb) who said, "The Solidarity Movement is a source of inspiration in the fight for liberty for all the world's citizens."  In his remarks (PDF 65.45 Kb) Ambassador Feinstein said, "Thirty years ago, the courageous protests of a few brave shipyard workers galvanized a country and shook the foundations of a divided world."  Secretary Clinton (PDF 31.53 Kb), Senator Barbara Mikulski (PDF 8.60 Kb) and Congressman Dan Lipinski (PDF 81.59 Kb) also released statements to mark the anniversary.  In her statement, Secretary Clinton said, "Thanks to their valor and their commitment to liberty, Poland is now a key NATO ally, a thriving democracy, and a beacon of hope to many who still suffer oppression."

Ambassador Feinstein met with President Buzek later that day to discuss U.S.-EU issues as Poland prepares to assume the presidency next year.  The Ambassador met with President Lech Walesa in his office in Gdansk the next morning to discuss bilateral issues, including Polish and American democracy promotion efforts. 

Ambassador Feinstein attended the Mass of Thanksgiving the next day at the Three Crosses Monument, celebrated by Primate of Poland, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk.  In the afternoon, the Ambassador met with the Governor of Pomorskie Province, Roman Zaborowski, and Marshal of the Local Assembly, Mieczyslaw Struk to discuss energy issues, including prospects for the nuclear power and shale gas in the region.  Ambassador Feinstein was a guest at the "Solidarity:  Your Angel's Name is Freedom" concert at the Gdansk shipyard that evening.  The event was produced by American director Robert Wilson, and included performances and readings by Philip Glass, Macy Gray, Kayah, Lou Reed, and Rufus Wainright.  Ambassador Feinstein visited the National Museum of Gdansk, where he met with Museum Director Wojciech Bonislawski and Museum curators, and previewed the photo exhibit by American artist Barbara Yoshida of women artists from around the world.  The Ambassador is an honorary patron of the exhibit, which opened officially on September 3.  (Photos from Ambassador Feinstein's visit to Gdansk and Gdynia)

The Embassy supported the seventh annual Isaac Bashevis Singer Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw.  Ambassador Feinstein attended the performance by Sinfonia Varsovia of Leonard Berstein's Third Symphony on September 1.  He hosted a reception that evening to honor Samuel Pisar, who wrote and performed the Libretto to the Bernstein Symphony.  President Kwasniewski joined Ambassador Feinstein in honoring Mr. Pisar at the Residence.  (Photos from the reception)

Ambassador Feinstein traveled to the Lublin area in late August with Minister of Agriculture Marek Sawicki to promote U.S.-Polish trade and investment.  The Ambassador visited a privately-owned dairy farm, which uses U.S. genetics technology, and a state-of-the-art Flower Farm.  Earlier in the month, Marek Trela hosted the Ambassador on a tour of Stadnina Koni in Janow Polaski, the historic Arabian horse stable in Poland's northeast. 

The early fall events followed Secretary Clinton's meetings in Warsaw in July.  In advance of the meeting Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and Ambassador Feinstein published side by side op-eds in Poland's newspaper of record, Gazeta Wyborcza.   Ambassador Feinstein accompanied Secretary Clinton to the site of the Katyn Cross in Krakow, where they met with family members of victims of the April 10 plane crash, including the families of Under Secretary Andrzej Kremer, Brigadier General Włodzimierz Potasiński, Lieutenant General Bronislaw Kwiatkowski, and Polish-American artist Wojciech Seweryn.  Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Feinstein toured the newly opened Schindler Factory Museum, accompanied by Minister Sikorski, Anne Applebaum, and former Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski.  Secretary Clinton announced the U.S. intention to contribute $15 million to support the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which Minister Bartoszewski directs.

Ambassador Feinstein took part in bilateral meetings with Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Sikorski later that morning.  At the meeting, Poland joined the U.S. Global Shale Gas Initiative, marking the next phase of the energy dialogue agreed by the ministers in their last meeting in April.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister witnessed Ambassador Feinstein and Polish Under Secretary of State Jacek Najder sign an amendment to the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement, which formalizes Poland's agreement last October to host SM-3 missiles in Poland.  Foreign Minister Sikorski affirmed Poland's support for the new system at a joint press availability with Secretary Clinton. Ambassador Feinstein attended the Community of Democracy Meetings later that day, where Secretary Clinton gave a speech highlighting the importance of NGOs to the strength of democratic societies.  Feinstein attended the founding meeting of the Community of Democracies in Warsaw ten years earlier as an aide to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who spoke at the Krakow meeting.

The day after Poland's historic presidential elections, on July 5, President Obama called President-elect Bronislaw Komorowski  to congratulate him and the people of Poland.  President Obama invited President-elect Komorowski to come to Washington and the two leaders emphasized the highest priority they attached to relations between our two countries.  The following week the Ambassador paid a courtesy call on the President-elect to follow up on the discussion.

In Warsaw the following week, Ambassador Feinstein accompanied Under Secretary of Commerce, Francisco Sanchez, in talks about nuclear energy cooperation.   Secretary Sanchez's delegation included executives from the private sector, higher education, and three government agencies.  Secretary Sanchez signed a joint declaration on nuclear energy (PDF 15.60 Kb) with Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak on July 13.  Ambassador Feinstein traveled to Wroclaw later that day for formal meetings and dinner with Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz.  Ambassador Feinstein also had lunch with Marshal Marek Lapinski and Vice Governor Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik of Lower Silesia to discuss economic opportunities in the city and surrounding areas.  American Chamber of Commerce President, Roman Rewald, Wroclaw Chamber Director, Joanna Bensz, Alon Redlich of UTC-Hamilton, and Jack Levernes of Hewlett-Packard, hosted the Ambassador at Hotel Monopol to discuss U.S. investments in Wroclaw.  Google Senior Manager, Radek Kokot, greeted Ambassador Feinstein at Google, Wroclaw, where Ambassador Feinstein toured the facilities and spoke to employees as part of Google's Leadership Forum.  Ambassador Feinstein toured the historic White Stork Synagogue, which reopened last May, the National Museum, and Max Berg's Centennial Hall. He hopped on Wroclaw's "DiverCity Tram," which features the city's emphasis on promoting diversity and tolerance.  

Later that week, Ambassador Feinstein met for two days of talks with NATO and U.S. officials to discuss the upcoming Lisbon Summit.

In Warsaw on July 18, Ambassador Feinstein honored the Righteous at an event sponsored by the U.S.-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which provides assistance to needy Poles who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens during the Holocaust.  Ambassador Feinstein hosted the organizers and corporate sponsors of Europride 2010 at his residence later that day.  Polish singer, Kayah and representatives from IBM were among those who attended. 

Lukasz Wejchert, President and CEO of Grupa Onet and Wojciech Kostrzewa, President and CEO of ITI Holdings, discussed current trends in Polish media with Ambassador Feinstein at TVN headquarters on July 22.  Ambassador Feinstein took his family to "Summer in the City" at Zacheta Gallery later that week, where Gallery Director, Agnieszka Morawinska, gave the Ambassador a tour of current exhibits.  The Ambassador and his family traveled to Krakow the end of the month to visit Wawel Royal Castle and Cathedral, the Tyniec Ancient Benedictine Abbey, and, the fire-breathing dragon in front of Wawel Castle Hill.

The month began with the annual Independence Day celebration at the Ambassador's residence on July 2.  To mark their first year in Warsaw, the Ambassador and Ms. Monaghan chose a theme of "Real American Cities" (PDF 541 Kb), and featured Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Seattle.  Mayors Bloomberg, Daley and each of the other mayors sent letters of congratulations.  The event featured a concert by St. Louis gospel musicians Oscar Williams Jr. and Perfected Praise.  Ambassador Feinstein gave remarks (PDF 43.77 Kb), and published an article in the Warsaw Voice (PDF 46.87 Kb) assessing U.S.-Polish bilateral relations.  

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