Polish and US Presidents to meet on September 18 in Washington DC

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will welcome President Andrzej Duda and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda in Washington on September 18, the White House said on Tuesday. This will be President Duda's first official visit to the White House.

As the statement from the press secretary of the White House read, the presidents "will address ways to strengthen the United States–Poland strategic partnership" and plan talks on "trade, military, and security matters."

"The visit takes place as Poland celebrates the centennial year of the recovery of its independence and just over a year since President Trump’s historic visit to Warsaw on July 5 and 6, 2017," according to the statement.

Polish president's aide Krzysztof Szczerski said on Tuesday that the programme of Duda's visit to Washington will include a face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump, as well as a joint press conference of the two politicians as well as a meeting of the first ladies. Szczerski added that the Polish president will attend plenary talks with American politicians in the Senate and give a cocktail reception for the Washington community to celebrate the centenary of Poland regaining independence.

Szczerski said at a press conference that the topics of talks between the Polish and US presidents will include security, geopolitics, Polish-American cooperation in the field of military affairs, allied cooperation between Poland and the United States in regional and global security, economic contacts, including US investments in Poland and common opportunities to increase trade between Poland and the US, as well as issues that "politically connect Poland and the US as two member states of the UN Security Council."

In a TV interview later on Tuesday, the presidential aide said Warsaw expects that the Trump-Duda meeting will confirm the importance of the Polish-American partnership for the security of Poland and the surrounding region, and for further development of economic ties.

As for the scrapping of visas for Poles entering America, Szczerski said "it depends on the dynamics of the meeting" if the issue will be raised. He added that the visa requirement is in fact more of a problem for the Americans, as it makes it more difficult for Poles to come to the US with their "excellent ideas, capital and skills."

"But in my view," the presidential official said, "at some point, someone with President Trump's business sense will take further steps on this issue, as well."

Asked if the Polish president will be accompanied by a governmental delegation, the aide said yes, adding that work will now begin on the composition of the team.

At the press conference, the official also announced that while in Washington, the Polish presidential couple will stay in the guest residence of US presidents, Blair House. "Therefore, it will be a fully formal visit of the Polish president, the Polish presidential couple, to the USA," he pointed out.

As the presidential aide noted, the visit of Andrzej Duda to the White Houses will take place "about a year after the US president's visit to Warsaw." According to Szczerski, this means that "the intensity and rhythm of Polish-American contacts at the highest level is maintained."

"In the meantime, between these two meetings (...), the presidents talked twice, in Davos and lately in Brussels, so this rhythm of contacts has been maintained," the minister argued.

Duda's aide also stressed that it is symbolic that the Polish president will travel to Washington directly from the Three Seas Summit (of countries situated between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas and promoting regional cooperation in the area), held in Bucharest.

During his visit to Poland last year, Donald Trump attended the Three Seas Summit held in Warsaw at that time.

Szczerski emphasised that it is a good and politically symbolic connection, and that it was also Poland's effort to combine these two events "so that we could talk about a continuation of Polish-American policy, including regional." He added that "the element of the Three Seas initiative will be in the focus of Andrzej Duda's visit to the USA."

The presidential minister noted this will not be the Polish president's last visit to the US in September. During the week following the Washington visit, the president will travel to New York to take part in the UN General Assembly.

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