Polish President Andrzej Duda and his American counterpart Donald Trump signed a common declaration concerning the presence of US troops on Polish territory.
On Wednesday Krzysztof Szczerski, the chief of staff of the Polish President Andrzej Duda, announced that the presidents of Poland and the US...see more
At 6 pm CEST, the Polish president and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda were welcomed at the White House by Donald Trump and the US First Lady Melania Trump.
The declaration signed by Mr Duda and Mr Trump begins with an emphasis on the fact that “The Republic of Poland and the United States of America are bound with a history of friendship based on mutual efforts, common values, and mutual respect.” The two countries confirm their obligations towards NATO, including those under Articles 3 and 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty as the basis for internal defence relations.
“The US plans to increase its current military presence in Poland, which is now around 4,500 rotating military personnel. This presence will increase in the near future by around 1,000 additional soldiers and will be focused on supplying Poland with additional abilities of defence and deterrence,” the declaration reads.
“Poland plans to provide additional support for the US Army, exceeding the NATO standard of host-state,” Poland and the US agreed in the document.
The declaration also includes a plan to create a squadron of unmanned US Air Force MQ-9 aircraft in Poland, used for reconnaissance and scouting purposes.
In reaction to the signing of the declaration, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that he was pleased with plans for more US troop deployments in Poland.
The full text of the declaration can be found at this address.
One of the topics of discussion between the two presidents was the possible purchase of F-35 fighter jets. “The US is celebrating Poland's decision to buy F-35 aircraft, one of the best combat jets in the world,” the American president said. F-35s flew over the White House during the visit by the Polish President.
President Trump also added that there will be no additional US troops moved from their homeland to Europe, but soldiers deployed in the future base in Poland will be relocated from Germany or some other places.
In honor of today’s visit by President Duda of the Republic of Poland, an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft conducted a historic flyover above the White House! pic.twitter.com/KEMV0MXGLo— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 12, 2019
“I do not want to prejudge whether it will be a permanent presence or not. We speak about 2,000 soldiers, which can be transferred from Germany or a different location. We will not relocate any additional troops to Europe,” Mr Trump stressed.
The US president expressed his hope that Russia will treat Poland with respect. “Poland, whenever there was a war, was, unfortunately, one of the major victims. I want Russia, Germany, Poland, everyone to get along,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of visiting Poland, the US president said that he will visit, but the date has not been set yet. On Friday, the spokesman of the Polish president announced that Mr Duda will invite his American counterpart for the WWII anniversary commemorations held in Poland in September.
Trump: I love Poland
Mr Trump stressed that he remembers his previous visit in Warsaw. “This was a magnificent, wonderful day. I will never forget my journey to Poland,” he declared. “I love Poland, Poles are wise and hardworking people, who love our country,” Mr Trump added.
The US head of state was asked about the dispute about the rule of law and democracy in Poland. “I am not worried about democracy in Poland. I know Poles and Polish leaders and that the country is doing well in this respect,” Mr Trump emphasised. President Duda added that “everything is perfect” on this matter.
Mr Trump congratulated Poland for the country’s activities to join the visa waiver programme, allowing Poles to travel to the US without visas. Both countries signed an agreement about strengthening cooperation in the field of preventing and fighting serious crime, which is an important step towards including Poland in the visa waiver programme.