Deputy NATO chief awarded Poland's top diplomatic decoration
PR dla Zagranicy
NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow has received Poland's Grand Cross of the Order of Merit for his diplomatic service.
President Andrzej Duda (Right) confers the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to NATO deputy chief Alexander Vershbow (Left). Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
The Grand Cross, awarded to foreigners or Poles based abroad, is the highest distinction of its kind in the country.
"This is not only a joyous day and a dignified ceremony but also a gratifying moment for me personally to be able to decorate a great friend to Poland with a high Polish distinction," President Duda said during the event held at Warsaw’s Belweder Palace on Thursday.
President Andrzej Duda presented the order to the NATO deputy head in recognition of Vershbow’s contribution to strenghtening Poland‘s security and defence within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance.
Alexander Vershbow served as US ambassador to NATO in 1998-2001, one of the most difficult periods on the international arena since the Cold War, President Duda said. “Back then, NATO, Europe and the world were facing new challenges in terms of what people living in NATO countries value most – security and a peaceful life," he added.
Vershbow said that receiving the order was of great significance to him, especially on the eve of the NATO summit. He added that he viewed Poland’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance in 1999 as a crowning moment for his diplomatic career. "Seventeen years later, since Poland joined [the alliance] one can say that the strong role that you’re playing in NATO, politically and militarily, makes very clear that it was absolutely the right decision," Vershbow said.
Earlier on Thursday, plenary talks were held in Warsaw between delegations headed by President Duda and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. The gathering was attended by Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, National Security Bureau head Paweł Soloch and presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski. (aba)
Source: IAR, PAP