updated 3/19/2004 3:19:27 PM ET 2004-03-19T20:19:27

President Aleksander Kwasniewski told President Bush on Friday that Polish troops will stay in Iraq “as long as needed, plus one day longer,” his national security adviser said.

The comments came one day after Kwasniewski said Polish troops might leave Iraq months earlier than planned and that Poland had been “misled” by intelligence concerning Iraq’s suspected weapons of mass destruction arsenal.

Kwasniewski pledged to keep the troops in Iraq during a phone call from Bush marking the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the adviser, Marek Siwiec, told reporters.

Siwiec said Bush thanked Kwasniewski for Poland’s military involvement in Iraq.

Poland commands a multinational force of some 9,500 troops — including 2,400 of its own — in south-central Iraq.

White House promotes statement
“President Kwasniewski confirmed our further involvement in the Iraqi mission and that we will be there as long as needed, plus one day longer,” Siwiec said.

The White House moved quickly to underline Poland’s commitment, distributing a statement from the Polish embassy in Washington that cited “misinterpretations” of Kwasniewski’s earlier remarks.

“Poland will not withdraw from Iraq until the mission of stabilization is successfully accomplished and counts on effective cooperation with the United States, Great Britain, Spain and other NATO and UN members states,” the embassy statement said.

It said Saddam Hussein had “misled the world in believing that he had had the weapons of mass destruction and might use them. This was the essential reason to take up the mission in Iraq.”

The statement quoted Kwasniewski as saying that a decisive factor in fighting terrorism was for democratic states to maintain unity and solidarity.

“Demonstration of weakness in the face of terrorist attacks aims at the foundations of democracy and security of all nations and world peace,” the embassy said.

Thursday's comments
Siwiec said Kwasniewski’s Thursday comment about being “misled” was meant to criticize intelligence failures in general, not Washington.

“It was not a complaint by Poland addressed to the United States,” he said.

On Thursday, Kwasniewski told French reporters he felt “uncomfortable due to the fact that we were misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction,” according to a transcript released by his press office.

He then told a separate news conference, “This is the problem of the United States, of Britain and also of many other nations.”

Kwasniewski had also said Poland might start withdrawing its troops from Iraq early next year, months before a planned withdrawal. He had cited progress toward stabilizing Iraq.

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