Warsaw, April 24 (IANS) India and Poland signed two important agreements on health and tourism Friday as President Pratibha Patil began the official part of her four-day visit to Poland.
On behalf of India, Ashwini Kumar, minister for state for industrial development and promotion and for Poland Katazyna Sobriska and Jakob Szulc, dealing with the respective ministries, signed the agreements.
Patil, the first Indian head of state to visit this east European nation in 13 years, was given an impressive welcome when she arrived at the presidential palace where she was warmly greeted by her Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski. The two presidents held an hour-long meeting along with their respective official delegations.
Speaking to the press after their meeting, both presidents expressed satisfaction with the current stage of relations between the two traditional friends. But both stressed the need to take the relationship to a much higher level.
“There is a big scope for our working together in combating international terrorism which is a menace to humankind. No country can feel safe if it thinks it alone can win a war against terrorism. It is an opportune time for the international community to pool its resources together and fight a long term war against the stateless actors in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Kaczynski.
Patil invited the Polish president to visit India which President Kaczynski accepted immediately by saying: “India has always been in my thoughts as we admire Indian democracy as a successful model in Poland.”
Kaczynski also admired India’s big assistance to Afghanistan in its rebuilding and development.
In a meeting with the members of the local Indian community on Thursday evening Patil praised the efforts of the Indian diaspora in raising the country’s profile in Poland. “The way most of you have integrated in the Polish society is remarkable. With your hard work and struggle you have overcome many hurdles and now you are one of the most successful foreign communities in Poland,” she remarked.
Patil also mentioned that Bollywood films had created a big niche among the Polish youth and said: “Let us hope music and literature will further create more avenues of understanding and strengthen Indo-Polish friendship.”
She also praised the role of the Indian Polish Cultural Committee, Brahma Kumaris, the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee and Hare Krishna temple of Iskcon.
President Patil visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum and paid tributes to Polish patriots against the Nazis during Word War II after her arrival from Madrid Thursday. Over 200,000 Polish people lost their lives and three-fourths of Warsaw was completely destroyed by the retreating Nazi forces.