I want to congratulate Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on his election as President of the European Council, and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini on her appointment as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Prime Minister was a warm host when I visited Warsaw last November, and when President Obama and I returned earlier this year. The Polish people are strong and rightly proud of their country, and I know the Prime Minister will carry his leadership to the Council.
I have met with Foreign Minister Mogherini several times, most recently in Paris last month, and I value the collegial rapport we have developed as we work on a range of challenging issues.
I look forward to working closely together with both leaders to overcome the stark challenges we face to security, democracy, and freedom in Europe’s east, the Middle East, and throughout the world – and to defend and achieve our common vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.
I also want to salute President Van Rompuy and especially High Representative Ashton, my close colleague and partner on the full range of global security issues, for their dedicated and indispensable work helping to steer the European Union through the last years.
The United States and Europe share deep common commitments to freedom, security, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and open markets. We are joined by enduring links of culture and commerce, by our shared history and our common hopes for the future.
As the European Union names its new leaders and moves to confirm a new Commission, I look forward to continuing our work together to build an ever stronger transatlantic relationship, and a safer, more prosperous world for future generations.