Duda meets Trump to discuss security

The two presidents met in the White House. Michael Reynolds/PAP/EPA

President Andrzej Duda will visit the White House today for a long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump.

During their tete-a-tete, the two leaders will discuss ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States, with an emphasis on defence.

The Pentagon is analysing the feasibility of establishing permanent US bases in Poland, according to reports this summer. 

In August, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that the bases are “highly likely”.

On his first official visit to the White House, Duda will be accompanied by his wife, Poland’s first lady Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda. 

They will be received by Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who visited Warsaw together in July 2017.

Defence will feature prominently in the presidents’ meeting. 

According to Krzysztof Szczerski, the head of Duda’s cabinet, they will sign a joint declaration on strengthening the Polish-American strategic partnership. 

It will be based on three pillars: defence cooperation, energy cooperation and US investment in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe more generally, he added.

Duda’s visit to the US comes hot on the heels of the Three Seas Initiative summit in Bucharest on 17 September, where he met with the leaders of eleven other Central and Eastern European countries to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation within the region.

For Szczerski, the Polish president’s two visits this week are two sides of the same coin.

“We say very clearly that the Three Seas Initiative and Polish foreign policy – within Europe – is a Euro-Atlantic policy,” he said. Duda’s visit to the US shows that Poland “wants to be a strong partner in the Euro-Atlantic community,” he added.

Security and defence aside, Duda’s visit to the US will include a concert celebrating a hundred years since Poland regained independence. 

He will also lay flowers on the grave of Jan Karski – 75 years after his meeting with Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House, when he told him about the situation in Poland, including the Holocaust. 

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