President to meet US Secretary of State on Saturday

Polish President Andrzej Duda will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw on Saturday to discuss the situation in Belarus, military cooperation as well as other issues, the Polish Press Agency PAP has been told by the president's chief aide Krzysztof Szczerski.

The president will also attend the ceremony of signing of a Polish-US agreement on military cooperation.

Krzysztof Szczerski recalled that the agreement "is the result of the arrangements made by Polish and US Presidents Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump during their meetings in Washington last year."

"The agreement envisages the new status of the presence of US troops in Poland, since it is no longer temporary but enduring. This change requires new legal regulations regarding the stationing of US forces in Poland," Szczerski stated.

"Now, we will have the opportunity to sign the agreement and later discuss it with political parties in parliament. Everything is taking a clear shape and will be the subject of a full analysis," he said.

The signing of the new agreement will also enable the further implementation of the arrangements made by the presidents of both states, including the transfer of a part of the command of the 5th Corps of the US Army to Poland.

Discussion on Belarusian affairs

President Duda and Mike Pompeo will also touch on the current situation in Belarus and discuss possible steps “which could be taken in order to help Belarus return to a civilised standard of relations between the authorities and citizens."

"Violence and imprisonment are not such a standard. Violence must stop while dialogue has to start, and the detained must be released in order to make it possible for Belarus to enter the road of integration with European structures and mark its full presence in the family of European nations," Mr Szczerski said.

Asked whether there was a possibility of joint Polish-US initiatives regarding Belarus, the presidential aide answered that the current priority was to agree upon a common position, and that the international community had to speak with one voice.

Mr Szczerski also said that among other topics of the conversation would be the Three Seas Initiative, economic cooperation and US investments in Poland, as well as, international issues, including cybersecurity.

Concluding, Krzysztof Szczerski underlined that the presence of the US Secretary of State at the changing of the guard in Pilsudski Square on the centenary of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw "is an important signal of political friendship between Poland and the US."

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