Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Polish Foreign Minister

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 6, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: They have been called the quiet but powerful partner in the coalition against Iraq. And now they’re playing a key role in keeping the peace in Iraq. I’m talking about Poland. And right now I’m talking with the foreign minister of Poland, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz. I so grossly mispronounced that, I apologize.

Sir, good to have you.


CAVUTO: First things first, change your name. But secondly, no, thank you for your support, and in this coalition, I mean, obviously you’ve gotten a lot of that from many Americans, from Brits and Australians. The bonds between our two countries have certainly strengthened, have they not?

CIMOSZEWICZ: I believe so. Always traditional relations between Poles and Americans very good. But I understand that especially in the last weeks and months they have been even improved. We just supported and sent for right justified thing to do in Iraq, and so we are going to continue that kind of politics, that kind of attitude.

CAVUTO: Obviously your government has committed to playing the role in the postwar Iraq. How substantial will that be?

CIMOSZEWICZ: We are ready to participate in various projects, one is stabilization operation. And we are ready to send more of our soldiers to Iraq. As you know, we probably command one of the sectors in Iraq together with other nations. But we also have a very special experience that we can and should share with Iraqis. What I mean is political transformation and economic transformation. Please remember that in the last several years Poland has gone through substantial fundamental changes, from communism to well working democracy, from centralized state-owned economy to the normal one, to a market one.

CAVUTO: We talk about our country’s relations with Europe and depending on who you talk to there is a fear that relations with France and Germany have been irreparably damaged. Has there been any fallout for Poland given the closeness between our countries and the fact that maybe you got a little frozen off from either of those countries?

CIMOSZEWICZ: Of course, we are not very happy with those developments. And we strongly believe in need to continue good, positive, strong trans-Atlantic operation. That is why we also encourage our European partners, France, to think this way. This, of course, is very unfortunate due to some facts, but those are to some rhetoric , some tensions there. And.

CAVUTO: Does that apply to the French as well? Is it particularly acute with the French or what?

CIMOSZEWICZ: Unfortunately, yes. We also have our own experience of that kind with some, unfortunately, statements made by some French leaders. However, in our eyes, it doesn’t change the fact that France, Germany, Russia are and will be important players in the international scene and should be treated as important partners.

CAVUTO: Going forward, I mean, there is some protest in this country, as I’m sure you are aware, minister, that we shouldn’t be there too long. It is felt in Iraq, maybe some Americans feel it in this country as well, is there a fear in your country as well that any Polish soldiers or peacekeeping units shouldn’t be there too long?

CIMOSZEWICZ: Yes, that’s right. I will not disclose any secret by saying that the majority of the Polish population was not very happy in war in Iraq. However, we have to be consistent. Military operation was added successfully, with success. And we all understand that it is no less important to guarantee that after war phase and activity we will also become a success. The Iraqi people deserve that from us.

CAVUTO: Mr. Minister, thank you very much, we appreciate it.

CIMOSZEWICZ: Thank you very much.

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