AJC Delegation Visits Warsaw, Meets with President of Poland

Jan 16, 2016, 10:57 ET from American Jewish Committee

WARSAW, Poland, Jan. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a visit to Poland, an AJC leadership delegation held a series of meetings with government officials.

The trip was highlighted by a private, two-hour luncheon hosted by President Andrzej Duda in honor of AJC at the Presidential Palace.

The group also met with Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones, and Israeli Ambassador Ana Azari.

The primary topics of discussion included: the new Polish government's domestic and international agendas, as well as specific focus on Polish-Jewish relations; Polish-Israeli and Polish-U.S. bilateral ties; the ongoing migration challenge in Europe and its wider implications for EU Member States; and security concerns on Europe's eastern border.

"In our meetings, we heard reaffirmation of Israel as a 'strategic partner;' concern about Russia's regional ambitions; appreciation for America's global leadership role; and a commitment to the well-being of the Jewish community in Poland," said AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris.

During the visit, the group met with alumni of AJC's annual Polish-Jewish exchange program, which began in 1995. The initiative is a partnership with the Warsaw-based Forum for Dialogue Among the Nations that has brought hundreds of emerging leaders in Poland to the U.S., and American Jews to Poland, to help spearhead a new chapter in Polish-Jewish relations.

The delegation was hosted for dinner with Polish Jewish community leaders at Etz Chaim, the Center for Progressive Judaism in Warsaw.

The group also toured the world-class Museum of the History of Polish Jews in the company of Auschwitz survivor and Museum Board Chairman Marian Turski.

The visit to Warsaw marked the final stop on a four-country tour that included meetings in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

As Polish leaders affirmed, AJC has had a unique history with democratic Poland that dates back to the 1980s. Among the highlights of the relationship was AJC's testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the admission of Poland, as well as the Czech Republic and Hungary, to NATO. At the time, AJC's testimony was called "tremendously effective and compelling" by Jeremy Rosner, then-Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for NATO Enlargement Ratification.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee