BSSB.BE newdelhi.mfa.gov.pl 25/01/2019
* «I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.» Kurt Vonnegut
Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, debated about European policies and the role of our continent in global politics.
The debate, moderated by Piotr Kraśko, was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The speakers also addressed other issues, like ways of conducting foreign policy and the roles of the United States and China in today’s world.
Henry Kissinger, when asked about “one telephone number to Europe”, a saying ascribed to him, said that Europeans still fail to speak with one voice on many issues – in spite of the existence of the European Union. “Europe has no internal organization, or even a concept that would make it a superpower”, said the former chief of U.S. diplomacy.
Minister Sikorski noted, in turn, that the United States has changed its perception of Europe in the last decade and no longer considers the European Union as a competitor of the North Atlantic Treaty. Sikorski also disagreed with the now popular view that Europe’s role can only get smaller. “I am not convinced that demography or economy will diminish Europe’s role. History teaches us that every trend is at some point reversed.”
Henry Kissinger raised the issue of Poland’s relations with its biggest neighbours. He believes that historical baggage should not be a determining factor in these matters, because the intentions of the neighbouring countries are now different than before the war. “Germany and Poland appear to strive toward genuine reconciliation, which is an exceptional historical fact. It appears that Germany’s willingness to cooperate with Poland is exceptional as seen in the context of its contacts with other countries,” Kissinger said about our western neighbor. “Russia also evolved under the circumstances.” Minister Sikorski added, “With Russia it is more difficult. Only recently have we seen conditions that permit to speak the truth, which is the basis for reconciliation.”
Both speakers agreed that a political plan for the region is needed before engaging in military intervention in different parts of the world. “We should not intervene, if we don’t want to remain in a country and are unable to maintain our presence there”, said Kissinger. “We cannot wage wars just to topple a country’s leader”, added Sikorski.
The U.S. guest ended the debate with a message: “If you think something needs to be done, then you need a spirit – I can sense it here. You are here not because you think that nothing can be done, but because there are still many things to be done.”
YOUTUBE : Kissinger and Sikorski on Europe. Debate with the participation of:
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: newdelhi.mfa.gov.pl