The Bahamas has received support from the Republic of Poland as it negotiates with the European Commission (EC) on a visa agreement.

The pledge was made during a ceremony at Government House Thursday as Governor General His Excellency Arthur Hanna accepted Letters of Credence from His Excellency Robert Kupiecki, the first Ambassador of Poland to The Bahamas.

“Cordial relations have always existed between our two countries in the context of the friendly relations we share in multilateral fora,” the Governor General said.

The Bahamas and Poland established diplomatic relations in November 2003.

The Governor General said the deepening of the relations is grounded in the shared commitment to the principles of democracy, peace, rule of law and respect for human rights.

He said The Bahamas also noted and welcomed Poland’s intention to strengthen bilateral relations and expand cooperation in the areas of trade and economy, and The Bahamas’ candidacy into the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Commission on Sustainable Development.

“The support of the Polish Government is also sought for the successful conclusion of negotiations on the waiver of Schengen Visas between the European Commission and The Bahamas,” the Governor General said.

“While you have focused on expanding the trade and economic aspect of our relations, it would, indeed, be gratifying to see further cultivation and cooperative measures undertaken, culturally, between our countries,” he said.

Ambassador Kupiecki said that despite geographical distance between both countries, both use their resources to protect the environment, fight diseases, as well as to forward to the world the message of peace and the need to preserve human dignity and rights.

“During my tenure as Ambassador, I look forward to working with the Government of The Bahamas to strengthen our bilateral relations and expand our cooperation in the areas of trade and economy,” he said. “The current economic cooperation between our countries is reflected in the trade balance.”

Poland is one of the main export markets for The Bahamas and in this vein, intends to become “equally important” as an import market, Ambassador Kupiecki said.

He said an effective way of boosting both economies would be to waive the visas for Polish citizens travelling to The Bahamas.

“As a member of the European Union and a Schengen country, Poland intends to work on the best possible outcome of the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral short-stay visa agreement between the European Commission and The Bahamas,” Ambassador Kupiecki said.

Ambassador Kupiecki, 40, earned a Doctorate Degree in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, Poland, in 1998. He is also a published author of books on international security and the contemporary history of Poland. He is married with two children.