Australian and Polish Foreign Ministers discuss bilateral relations

Joint media release

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Bob Carr
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Mr Radosław Sikorski

7 May 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr held talks in Sydney last night with the Polish Foreign Minister, Mr Radosław Sikorski.

Senator Carr and Mr Sikorski discussed a range of international economic and security matters, including current developments in Europe and the Eurozone, the challenges posed by North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Mali as well as reforms in Myanmar.

"Despite the geographic distance between Australia and Poland, our views on major international security matters are aligned, including in our condemnation of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile program," Senator Carr said.

"The program represents a threat not just to the region, but to global peace and security, and is a clear contravention of United Nations Security Council resolutions."

The talks took place during Mr Sikorski's official visit to Australia as a Guest of the Australian Government.

Mr Sikorski was accompanied by a business delegation. As part of the visit, a Poland-Australia Business Forum and Mining Seminar was held on 6 May in Sydney.

Mr Sikorski said both Ministers agreed that trade and investment between Australia and Poland had room for further growth.

"Poland is among the few countries in Europe and in the world which managed to sustain economic growth throughout the deep recession in the last years showing a respectable expansion since then," Mr Sikorski said.

"Poland and Australia are the only two OECD countries that maintained economic growth during the darkest days of the global financial crisis."

Senator Carr said he hoped the forum will pave the way for increased two way investment and commercial opportunities, particularly in energy and mining.

The timing of Mr Sikorski's visit enabled him to celebrate Poland's National Day with members of the Polish-Australian community, who play an active role in promoting the bilateral relationship.

Approximately 170,000 people in Australia identify as being of Polish origin.

"People-to-people links are at the very heart of our bilateral relationship," Mr Sikorski said.

"So Senator Carr and I do hope to finalize soon the negotiations of a bilateral Work and Holiday Arrangement which aims to strengthen economic and cultural links between our two countries."

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