- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) — President George W. Bush and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski held talks at the White House Tuesday on increased trade and continued cooperation in the war on terrorism, officials said.

The meeting, preceded by comments in which both men praised each other's country, was followed by a working lunch.

"I've got no better friend in Europe today than Poland," Bush said. "One of the reasons why is because this man has made a commitment to work together, as equal partners, in the war on terror, on the desire to lift the — find freedom for people who live in misery."

The two leaders discussed the war on terror and the recent decision by the Polish government on the purchase of U.S.-made aircraft.

Poland, the largest former Warsaw Pact state to join NATO, has agreed to purchase 48 F-16 fighters from Lockheed-Martin for about $3.8 billion. It received a U.S. government loan to help with the purchase plus about $10 billion in U.S. business ventures and investments.

Kwasniewski said there was "a chance to open a new chapter in the economic relations between Poland and United States" with accelerated U.S. investment in his country.

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