Obama Camp Disputes Some Perceptions Abroad

By Dschabner

Nov 8, 2008 5:40pm
According to the Web site of Polish President
Lech Kaczynski
a conversation yesterday between him, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and
President-elect Barack Obama, the newly-elected American president said "that
the anti-missile shield project will be continued."
Obama also "expressed hope that the political and
military cooperation between the two countries will be continued," the Polish
President’s Web site says, per Bloomberg News.
Obama disputes this characterization.
Senior foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough in a
statement said, "President-elect had a good conversation with the Polish
President and the Polish Prime Minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance.
President Kaczynski raised missile defense but President-elect Obama made no
commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign, that he
supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be
In August, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the
Polish government signed an agreement for Poland to host 10 interceptor
missiles, but Obama has not been a forceful advocate of this program and Polish
leaders are concerned that Obama may ultimately end the project.
"The American administration has changed. Whether the
Americans’ decisions will change, we don’t know,” Tusk told the Gazeta Wyborcza
newspaper. "If the Americans decide to stop or suspend the project, for example
because of financial reasons, we will just accept this information. We can’t
build it ourselves.”
Russia opposes such a system, and almost immediately
after Obama was elected Russia President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to put
missiles in an area between Poland and Lithuania to "neutralize” the missile
defense system.
Meanwhile, Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar told The Associated Press on Friday that he has hopes for President-elect Obama.
"We hope, we hope, that Obama opens a new page with the
world, including the Muslim world," Zahar said.
But the message from the Obama camp: Not so fast, Hamas.
Obama senior foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough
said in a statement: "President-elect Obama said throughout the campaign that he
will only talk with Hamas if it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right
to exist, and agrees to abide by past agreements
– jpt
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