Central and Eastern European summit opens in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Nineteen heads of state have been welcomed by President Bronislaw Komorowski at the Royal Castle in Warsaw for the 17th Central and Eastern European summit.
17th Meeting of Presidents of Central European States in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Pawel Supernak
Presidents of Romania and Serbia are not attending due to the presence of the Kosovo president as they do not recognize the breakaway Balkan state which declared independence in 2008.
The summit will be joined by President Barack Obama following his arrival in Warsaw this evening.
The summit, devoted to democratic change in this part of Europe, is being hosted by President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Opening the summit the Polish head of state underlined that Central and Eastern Europe has travelled a difficult path to freedom and democracy.
“Our success,” said Bronislaw Komorowski , “would have not been possible without the European Union, which has intensified our feelings of security since accession.
“Europe has always been a byword for openness, readiness to develop contacts with other regions and a curiosity of different cultures, people and countries. This, over the centuries, has led to the development of various contacts between Europe and other regions. A united Europe has to continue these traditions and must not try to exist passively, in isolation.”
The summit began with a discussion on possible aid to North Africa. The meeting is an opportunity for bilateral talks, and in the afternoon a press conference is planned. In the evening Bronislaw Komorowski is to host a special dinner in which President Obama will be participating.
The first Central European Summit was held in Salzburg in 1992, the last such meeting took place in Serbia three years ago. It was there that the late president Lech Kaczynski announced that the next summit will be meeting in Warsaw. (ab/pg)