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Wikileaks – US slams 2006 Polish foreign ministry

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 07.09.2011 11:40
A cable published by the whistle-blowing web site reveals the US thought the effectiveness of Polish foreign policy had diminished under the presidency of Lech Kaczynski and premiership of his twin brother, Jaroslaw.


One of scores of cables from 2006 released by Wikileaks shows that the American Embassy in Warsaw felt that the then president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski's “tight grip on foreign policy” had led to a loss of “effectiveness in European institutions and overall quality in Polish foreign policy.”

Dated 2 November 2006, the “confidential” dispatch from the embassy to the US secretary of state notes: “The politicization of top and mid-level positions, frequent personnel changes, introverted leadership and long-standing vacancies at MFA stand as evidence of the President's disregard for the foreign policy establishment.”

The cable was written a year into the presidency of Lech Kaczynski – who later died in the Smolensk air disaster in April 2010 – and his brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski's premiership of the Law and Justice-led coalition government (2005 – 07).

The dispatch from the office of Ambassador Victor Ashe writes that, “the Kaczynskis' inward looking approach, desire to strengthen the presidency, and emphasis on loyalty over expertise have put increasing pressure on foreign policy professionals at the [Foreign Ministry]”.

The cable notes the then foreign minister Anna Fotyga's “little foreign policy experience” and describes her as “media clumsy”.

The dispatch observes the perception of Fotyga's office as “a black hole” where decisions take an age to emerge from.

“The morale of foreign policy professionals at MFA has been hurt in part by Fotyga's weakness and the Kaczynskis lack of interest, but perhaps even more of late by the politicization of personnel decisions.”

Concern about the Foreign Ministry was also noted in Brussels, writes the cable.

“The loss of clout and personnel upheavals at the MFA have clearly had an impact on Poland's ability to lead on regional issues, a loss noted by EU diplomats in particular.”

Though the “fundamentals of Poland's foreign policy remain solid”, Poland's “effectiveness in the EU and elsewhere has been diminished, and its ability to lead will take some time to repair,” the cable concludes. (pg)

see cable here

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