The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland successfully concluded the 2nd Philippine-Poland Political Consultation on October 11 at the Manila Diamond Hotel.
The meeting of delegations headed by officials at the sub-ministerial level is held under the terms of the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Political Consultation Mechanism between the two countries. This year’s consultation followed the inaugural meeting in Warsaw in 2008.
DFA Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda F. Basilio headed the Philippine delegation, which included Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, incoming Philippine Ambassador to Poland Patricia Ann V. Paez, Acting Director Mersole J. Mellejor, Director Faysallesah Abdullah of the Department of National Defense (DND) and Atty. Lily Freida M. Milla of the Commission on Higher Eudcation (CHED).
Undersecretary of State Jerzy Pomianowski led the Polish delegation with Poland’s non-resident Ambassador to the Philippines Adam Jelonek, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Southeast Asia Division Head Director Anna Kzrak-Danel, and Honorary Consul Fernandino Lising as members.
During the meeting, the delegations updated each other of significant developments in the Philippines and Poland. Undersecretary Basilio provided insights on, among others, the recently concluded framework agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), developments in the West Philippine Sea and on Philippine foreign policy. Undersecretary of State Pomianowski, for his part, highlighted the economic situation and the foreign policy thrusts of Poland.
Both sides discussed possible high-level engagements, including a future meeting between the leaders of their two countries. Mutual support of Philippine and Polish candidatures in multilateral bodies was also taken up.
They also exchanged views on enhancing Philippine-Polish cooperation in the fields of defense, higher education, trade and investment, tourism, and culture. Of particular interest were proposals for both countries to conclude memoranda of understanding on cooperation in defense and in higher education.
Philippine-Ambassador designate to Poland Patricia Ann V. Paez said, “This high-level consultation between the Philippines and Poland revs up the engine of our relations at a time when the Philippine economy is on its upward trajectory and Poland’s economy is performing exceptionally against the backdrop of the eurozone crisis. In much the same way that Poland could be our country’s gateway to the former countries of the Eastern bloc; the Philippines could be Poland’s entry point to the greater Asia-Pacific region. The projected meeting between leaders of the two countries will accelerate the tempo of our bilateral engagement. Serving as a solid foundation for our relations is the fact that both countries are predominantly Catholic and share a common history of struggle to restore and nurture democracy.”
In addition to attending the political consultation, Mr. Pomianowski also met with DND Undersecretary Honorio S. Azqueta.
The Polish delegation took a brief tour of Intramuros after the consultation.