Fifth official Duda-Trump meeting
The June 24 meeting in Washington of Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump will be the fifth official bilateral meeting between the presidents.
The two presidents met for the first time in early July 2017, during the US president's official visit to Poland. This was Trump's only visit to Poland, so far.
During an open-air speech at Warsaw's Old Town, Trump praised the heroism of Poles and spoke with appreciation of Polish history. During the visit, Trump also met with 12 leaders of the Three Seas Initiative countries. The Initiative is a platform for cooperation of the presidents of twelve countries situated between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. Its aim is to boost cooperation among countries of the region.
The following official bilateral Duda-Trump meeting took place in September 2018, during President Duda's official visit to Washington.
Earlier, Duda visited the US in May 2018, but he did not meet with Trump at that time, which was a cooling-off period for Polish-US relations linked with, among other issues, an amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance passed by the Sejm (lower house) in January 2018, which criminalised claims of Polish complicity in Nazi German crimes, and threatened "a fine or a penalty of imprisonment of up to three years" for anyone who "accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state, of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich."
The provisions brought criticism from, among other countries, Israel and the USA. After a few months, the act was partially amended, among other actions, as a result of an agreement between the Polish and Israeli governments.
During his visit to Washington in September 2018, at the start of his meeting with Trump, President Duda spoke of building a US military base in Poland, which could be called 'Fort Trump.' "I hope that US President Donald Trump will decide to send more troops to Poland," said Duda. In turn, the US president assessed that permanent US bases would be helpful in increasing the security of Poland and the USA.
During that visit, both presidents signed a joint Polish-American declaration on cooperation in the fields of security and defence, energy, trade and investment.
A concrete agreement on the stationing of US troops in Poland was concluded during Duda's next official US visit in June 2019. The Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation, regarding the presence of US forces in Poland, foresaw an increase by 1,000 soldiers of the 4,500-strong US rotational military base.
In tune with the declaration, Poland obligated itself to provide and sustain a jointly determined infrastructure for the initial package of additional projects at no cost to the United States and taking into account the planned level of its use by US forces.
The list of projects included in the package provided for the establishment of a US Division Headquarters (Forward) in Poland, creation and joint use by the US and Polish armed forces of a Combat Training Centre (CTC) in Drawsko Pomorskie (western Poland), and, eventually, in a few other locations in Poland.
The package also envisaged the establishment of a US Air Force MQ-9 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance squadron in Poland.
During that visit, the sides announced Poland's plans to buy 32 modern American F-35 fighters.
The next meeting of two presidents was to take place on September 1, 2019. Donald Trump was to visit Warsaw on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. At the last minute, however, Trump cancelled his arrival due to Hurricane Dorian, which hit the US.
However, Duda and Trump did meet in September 2019 during Duda's visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. During their meeting, the two signed a declaration in which both countries agreed on locations for the enhanced presence of US troops in Poland.
Apart from official bilateral meetings, the Polish and US president have met informally several times during multilateral talks, including at NATO summits, meetings of the UN General Assembly, meetings of the Economic Forum in Davos or the funeral of former US President George Bush.