October 24, 2005


Poland's President-Elect Praises U.S. (VANESSA GERA, 10/24/05, Associated Press)

President-elect Lech Kaczynski promised Monday to visit the United States early in his term, calling Washington an important ally but shedding no further light on whether Poland would extend its troop deployment in Iraq past the planned withdrawal next year.

Kaczynski, the socially conservative mayor of Warsaw who believes in capitalism with a safety net, won Sunday's presidential runoff race with 54 percent of the vote, defeating lawmaker Donald Tusk of the pro-market Civic Platform party.

In a sign of the importance he places on ties with Washington, Kaczynski said he would take up
President Bush's invitation to visit soon after he takes office on Dec. 23. Bush made the invitation in a congratulatory phone call Monday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan and Kaczynski said. [...]

Kaczynski, who has praised the first year of Poland's membership in the European Union but promised an assertive role within the EU, pledged Monday that his country would hold a referendum before adopting the euro. He said the vote would not take place until the second half of his five-year term "or even towards the end of it."

"Our friends in Europe are not encouraging us to act hastily," Kaczynski said in a briefing with foreign reporters. "There definitely will be a referendum. Getting rid of one's own currency is a very serious limitation of one's own sovereignty."

It would be great for President Bush to do a tour of the Axis of Good.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2005 5:20 PM
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