Senator McCain pledges support for Poland in Visa Waiver Program
PR dla Zagranicy
Senator John McCain has vowed to support Poland's push to be admitted to the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Senator John McCainFoto: wikicommons/flickr
The Republican senator voiced his backing on Wednesday night during a belated Constitution Day celebration (normally 3 May) at the Polish Embassy in Washington.
McCain received the so-called White Eagle Award from Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf in recognition of his services to Polish-American relations, including supporting Poland's candidacy to join NATO (membership approved in 1999).
“There is very strong support for this [visa] matter from the majority of Congress, and I assure you I will do everything in my power to straighten this out in the framework of defence spending,” he said.
McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which draws up the National Defense Authorization Act on how the Pentagon allots funds, and as chairman he has a key role in influencing foreign policy.
“The VWP should have been changed long ago to allow Poles the same possibilities that citizens of the rest of Europe have, who come to Poland without a visa,” the former presidential candidate stressed.
“Visas are a barrier in our friendship and I will act to see that this obsacle is removed,” he said.
When President Bronisław Komorowski visited Poland in December 2010, President Barack Obama promised that the US would see to that Poland was admitted to the VWP.
A draft law designed to drop the necessity of visas for “important allies like Poland” was introduced to both houses on Capital Hill in Washington in 2012. However, the process has repeatedly stalled. (nh)