PM Szydło in the US: Poland is protecting its interests
PR dla Zagranicy
Addressing members of the Polish diaspora in the United States, Saturday, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło said the only reason behind a recent wave of criticism of Poland is that Poland is 'finally beginning to protect its interests.'
Prime Minister Beata Szydło speaking to Polish Americans in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
The prime minister's comments come ten days after the European Parliament passed a resolution warning that the rule of law, democracy and human rights were endangered in Poland.
Szydło was in the US to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement on Friday in New York.
She said her cabinet would continue to protect national interests with determination, stressing that “the Polish nation and state have the right to be treated in the same way as other nations and to put forward their own conditions on a par with others”.
She also spoke about her government’s commitment to foster closer bonds with Polish communities abroad and about her cabinet’s efforts to support Polish families.
The meeting was held at Doylestown, Pennsylvania, known as the American Częstochowa for its National Sanctuary of the Madonna of Częstochowa, after a mass in the main church which was attended by Beata Szydło and about 2000 people.
The prime minister was given an enthusiastic welcome, with chants of “Beata” and ”Polonia kocha polski rząd” (the Polish diaspora loves the Polish government) and bidding farewell with the traditional Polish song ”Sto lat” (May she live 100 years).
The Prior of the Pauline Sanctuary Rafał Walczyk said that PM Szydło was the first representative of the highest Polish state authorities to pay a visit to Doylestown.
“We play the same role as Jasna Góra in Poland [the Black Madonna shrine in Częstochowa], being a place open to every pilgrim, be it a politician or an angler, a lay person or a clergyman”, he said.
The Main Church in Doylestown was dedicated on 16 October 1966 as a votive offering for the millennium of Christianity in Poland, with US President Lyndon Johnson among those attending the ceremony. In 1984 the sanctuary was visited by President Ronald Reagan. Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, future Pope John Paul II, visited the place in 1969 and 1976.
On Saturday Prime Minster Beata Szydło also placed flowers at the Katyń Memorial in Jersey City which is dedicated to Polish officers killed by Stalin’s NKVD police at Katyń Forest in 1940. It is a bronze statue of a Polish soldier, impaled in the back by a Soviet bayoneted rifle. (mk/nh)