Poland's goal is to strengthen NATO as an alliance - president

Addressing The future of NATO panel in Davos on Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that NATO "means peace, security, stability and prosperity," and added that Poland's goal was to strengthen both NATO as an alliance and its presence on the eastern flank.

President Duda said that the decision taken by Poland to join NATO in 1999 was one of the best.

According to Duda, NATO is the best alliance in the world and in the history of the entire world. "This is extremely important now, when we are talking about all these threats, about all these potential crises, which we know we can expect or which we are aware of - irrespective of whether it is the Middle East or Europe," Duda said, explaining that while speaking about Europe, he had in mind Ukraine.

The president noted that Poland's NATO membership was very important for the Polish people. Referring to the recent Middle East crisis, Duda said that owing to this, he could tell Poles that he had had a conversation with the NATO secretary general and that there was nothing to fear as we are together.

"We are together in this alliance and NATO is ready to respond in any way. But there will surely be no war and our soldiers are safe," he said, adding that Poland had truly reliable allies and that Poland was a reliable partner. "This is the most important element of the entire alliance," he said.

"Our goal is to strengthen NATO as an alliance and its presence on the eastern flank since Poland is on the eastern flank. Poland together with the Baltic States and neighbouring countries is the alliance's eastern flank," he said.

The Polish president came out in favour of the continuation of an open door policy to NATO. "We are part of a free, democratic world and NATO is the guarantee of peace and security as well as of prosperity and a calm life. That is why we must open the door to NATO to potential new candidates. We should have the opportunity to tell them that if they meet the requirements, they can become NATO members," Duda said.