Polish acting President appoints new Chief of Staff

12:41, May 08, 2010      

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Polish acting President Bronislaw Komorowski on Friday officially appointed General Mieczyslaw Cieniuch as Chief of Staff of the Polish Armed Forces.

"The armed force is that Polish institution which suffered biggest losses in connection with the Smolensk catastrophe," Komorowski said during a ceremony held at the Belvedere palace.

"It is not easy to take over command in conditions of fresh memory of the painful loss felt by all milieus in Poland, also by people in uniforms," Komorowski added, quoted by the PAP news agency.

Komorowski, thanking General Cieniuch for his readiness to take on the job, stressed that one of his key tasks will be, among others, the deepening of the reform of the armed forces.

General Cieniuch said that first of all he plans to focus on calming down the situation on building good ground for making successive decisions.

Cieniuch, 59, is a graduate of the Higher Armoured Forces Officers' School in Poznan and military academies in Moscow and Washington. He has served as Polish representative at the EU and NATO Military Committees in Brussels, most recently he was an aide to defense minister Bogdan Klich.

From 2003 to 2006 he was deputy chief of staff of the Polish armed forces.

Previous Chief of Staff, General Franciszek Gagor died in the April 10 crash of the Polish presidential plane, which claimed the lives of 96 persons, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria.



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