George Bush photo

Toast at the State Dinner in Warsaw

July 10, 1989

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Prime Minister, and members of the Polish delegation, thank you for your hospitality tonight and throughout our stay. We are very pleased and honored to be here.

The American people have a special and enduring interest in Poland. And in recent months, we have watched remarkable events unfold here. And so, this is not an ordinary visit, for in Poland these are not ordinary times. When I was last here, almost 2 years ago, our relations had just emerged from a long, chilly period. But we have made great progress and covered many issues: cultural, commercial, consular, scientific, communications, human rights, and others.

Mr. Chairman, the rewards for successful effort are, as always, more and greater challenges. Poland is entering a new era; it is beginning once again to command its own destiny. Polish energy and creativity are being tapped, and great steps have been taken already -- the remarkable roundtable accords, Solidarity's legalization, the holding of fair elections, the restoration of a freely elected Polish Senate. And more steps await on the road ahead. Poland has surpassed all expectations, and we respect you for that.

Reform is a difficult process, as you well know. And there are neither easy answers nor cost-free solutions, but there is a sound basis for hope. And today you have the good will of an expectant and hopeful world. We see hope not only for a new beginning in Poland but for the beginning of Europe's reconciliation -- for making Europe whole and free and at peace with itself. We want Poland to succeed in this historic effort, and we have outlined ways in which the United States can help Poland help itself. Both our governments have a great deal of work to do.

Our hearts, as always, will be filled with the abiding commitment the American people feel for this land and for her people. You know, over the past 2 years, we have celebrated the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution, and yet not every American knows that a short time later the world's second written constitution was adopted by the Polish Parliament. And today I believe the spirit that produced the 3d May Constitution lives in Warsaw, in Krakow, and in Gdansk. And my wish for you is that 2 years from now, on the bicentennial of your Constitution, the Polish people will have achieved the kind of political transformation so long awaited, so long deferred.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Prime Minister, let us lift our glasses to the progress we have made in relations and to our determination to proceed toward the better days and great achievements still to come. And may I say in closing to you and Mrs. Jaruzelski, our heartfelt thanks for your superb hospitality and the warmth of your welcome to me, to Barbara, and to all that are traveling with me.

Thank you. Long live Poland! To your health, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 8:55 p.m. in the Green Marble Dining Room at Radziwill Palace. In his opening remarks, he referred to Wojciech Jaruzelski, Chairman of the Council of State, and Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski. Following the dinner, the President and Mrs. Bush returned to Parkowa Guest House.

George Bush, Toast at the State Dinner in Warsaw Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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