Source: Republic of Poland in English
The first visit by a Polish President to Australia and New Zealand will focus on political, economic and defence issues, the head of the President’s Office, Krzysztof Szczerski, said on Friday.
Krzysztof Szczerski pointed out that Andrzej Duda’s six-day visit to the two countries, to be paid on August 18-23, “will have four dimensions, covering political, economic, defence issues and the Polish Diaspora.”
The programme provides for “political talks with all major politicians in both countries.” In Australia, Andrzej Duda is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who will be accompanied by a group of constitutional ministers, including the ministers of foreign affairs, national defence, economy, and defence industry.
Minister Szczerski added that the President will also meet with Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrov, the leader of the opposition and with the state governors of Victoria and New South Wales.
While in New Zealand, the Polish President is planned to meet with General-Governor Patricia Lee Reddy, the country’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, as well as with the leader of the opposition.
Krzysztof Szczerski pointed out that during the visits the signing is planned of “contracts and bilateral documents” concerning, inter alia, defence cooperation.
During the visit to Australia, President Duda will be accompanied by a delegation of the Polish Defence Ministry. “We assume that the effect of the talks will be the signing a letter of intent to purchase Adelaide-type missile frigates, which would strengthen the Polish Navy,” said Krzysztof Szczerski.
He highlighted that Polish-Australian military cooperation not only concerns frigates, but also “other areas that are important to us from the military point of view.”
A Polish-Australian energy forum is planned during Andrzej Duda’s visit to the country, to be attended by representatives of the biggest Polish and Australian companies in the sector.
During his stay in Sydney, President Duda is to attend the opening of a trade office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH). “The opening of a PAIH bureau in Sydney will be accompanied by a meeting of start-up entrepreneurs and young business,” said minister Szczerski.
While in New Zealand, President Duda is expected to meet with business representatives. Krzysztof Szczerski said the parties are expected to sign bilateral agreements, including an important Poland-New Zealand civil aviation agreement. “In our understanding, and in our plans, it is to enable the development of air connections that would be offered under a common code and allow for Warsaw-to-New Zealand flights,” the minister added.
Among the political issues common for Poland, Australia and New Zealand, minister Szczerski mentioned the countries’ role in the global security architecture, the situation in the South Pacific region, Russia and China policy, cooperation with the United States, talks on a free trade agreement with the European Union, and also climate issues in the context of the COP24 summit in Katowice, planned for December. (PAP)