June 23, 2020

Menendez Statement on U.S.-Poland Relationship

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the U.S.-Poland relationship ahead of President Andrzej Duda’s visit to the White House this week:

“While I am a strong supporter of the U.S.-Poland relationship, President Andrzej Duda’s visit to the White House days before Poland’s presidential election is inappropriate. The U.S.-Poland relationship rests on shared values, mutual membership in democratic institutions like NATO, and the thriving Polish-American diaspora – not on having a specific party run either country. The timing of President Trump’s meeting with President Duda creates the wrong impression that the U.S. prefers a certain party, which is not helpful for the overall U.S.-Poland relationship.

“Separately, I am troubled by President Duda’s lack of commitment to promoting human rights, particularly his anti-LGBTQ+ positions expressed during the campaign. President Duda recently said that LGBTQ+ rights are an ‘ideology…even more destructive to man’ than Communism. In recent weeks he signed a pledge to prevent gay people from getting married or adopting children and to ban teaching of LGBTQ+ issues in schools. The United States must support those fighting to ensure the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals are protected and advanced in every corner of the world.

“I remain committed to seeing Poland prosper as a close U.S. ally and partner in confronting Kremlin aggression. The bilateral U.S.-Poland relationship, not to mention the NATO alliance, is strongest when grounded in our shared democratic values and in support for the country of Poland and its people, not for a specific party.”

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