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SOFA between Poland and USA signed
2009-12-11

On 11th December at 12.00 in the premises of Department of Military Foreign Affairs at Pulawska street, Warsaw, Undersecretary in MoND for Defence Policy Stanisław Komorowski and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher signed Status of Forces Agreement regulating the status of US forces to be stationed in Poland.

Minister of National Defence Bogdan Klich and Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski were present during the ceremony. Following the signature, a press conference took place.

Minister Bogdan Klich assessed today’s agreement as an important moment in the ongoing Polish-American bilateral relations. He informed that the parties, after thorough analysis, have reached an agreement in the interpretation of provisions of the negotiated document.

“The agreement, which establishes the legal basis for stationing of US troops and equipment on the Polish territory, for us means strengthening of Polish security”, Klich underlined.
Klich thanked US Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Taucher for her personal commitment in the negotiations. “It is always a satisfaction to talk with a tough but an open partner, as the openness paves the way for agreement", he stressed.
Ellen Taucher described the agreement as an important contribution into Polish-US bilateral relations. Taucher stressed that SOFA agreed with Poland is similar but not identical to the ones signed with other NATO states.
I think, we managed to negotiate the best possible agreement", she said in the end.
Asked about the issue of jurisdiction over US soldiers stationing in Poland, Klich said that he agreement gives the primacy of the Polish law in this respect. If an US soldier breaks the law, they will be liable to the Polish law, unless, at the request of the USA, Poland will transfer liability to that country.
Stanisław Komorowski asked about difficult issues during negotiations mentioned, among others: environment protection issues, labour law, military discipline and tax issues. "These were laborious but effective negotiations", minister Komorowski concluded.

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