On April 14, Vice President Biden visited the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC, to sign the condolence book for President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynska and all those who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash last Saturday in Russia.

Below is the text of the Vice President’s condolence note:

“It is with a heavy heart that I write these words. I had the honor and privilege of knowing President Kaczynski – recently having been with him in Poland as we worked out the new missile defense agreement.

His loss and the loss of Mrs. Kaczynski along with so many dedicated servants of the Polish people is almost too much to ask the Polish people to endure – but endure you will as you always have.

Please know that I am an admirer of all that is Polish – and that you can count on my country and all Americans to continue to stand with you.

With deep sympathy.

Joe Biden”

Today, Wednesday, October 21, 2009, Vice President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden Jr., visits Warsaw to discuss a range of bilateral issues with Polish authorities, including expanding trade and investment, strengthening democracy in the region, and cooperating to meet common security challenges both bilaterally and through NATO.

Vice President Biden is scheduled to meet separately with the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Donald Tusk. He will also meet with a broad cross section of civil society leaders to talk about common efforts to promote democracy.

The visit falls at a time of great historical significance, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the Vice President’s view, the real validation of 1989 is less in what we took down and more in what we built, and continue to build together – strong democracies and strong partnerships ranging from mutual defense to energy security and climate change. In reference to Central Europe, Biden’s National Security Adviser said “The example they set 20 years ago inspired the world. The leadership they exert over the next 20 years can change the world, encouraging, supporting, and defending young democracies.”

The Vice President will also visit Bucharest, Romania, and Prague, Czech Republic, before returning to the U.S. on Friday.