Lech Wałęsa meets Madeleine Albright
Yesterday president Wałęsa met with the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. During a shared press conference due to the visit of Madam Secretary to Warsaw which was attended also by Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz Lech Wałęsa expressed his gratitude for American engagement in the establishment of the new political order in Europe, especially support for Polish membership in the NATO. "Together we managed to bridge the world's great political and economic divides (...). It is thanks to you that we achieved this” - he said.
President Wałęsa, expressing his hope for an interesting discussion during an official dinner after the press conference, spoke about the global crisis of democracy. Stressing the importance of democratic principles and rule of law, he mentioned the threats of its violation. He added that we are in a crucial moment of history when the future of democracy is endangered. “The era of cold war has ended, the new one hasn't been defined yet. (...) There are some who want to bring us back to the past” - he warned.
In her statement Secretary Albright mentioned her visit to Poland in November 1981 when she first met Lech Wałęsa after his address to workers in Nowa Huta district in Cracow. Madam Secretary also spoke about the importance of NATO for the states of Eastern Europe and the stability of democracy in this region, as well as the role of Bronisław Geremek in Poland's accession to the NATO. She also related to the topic of global democracy retreat - “Democracy is harder than many thought” - she finished.