Pompeo to sign Poland-US defence cooperation deal in Warsaw on Aug 15

"It’ll be a very important and productive trip, I expect," Pompeo told reporters at the US Department of State. Jim Lo Scalzo/PAP/EPA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his August 15 visit to Warsaw will sign the new US-Poland Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and meet with Poland's top officials, Polish President Andrzej Duda's top aide Krzysztof Szczerski said on Saturday.

The EDCA envisaging the increased presence of US soldiers in Poland is currently undergoing necessary internal adjustments within the governments of both countries, Szczerski said.

"When these internal procedures are completed on time, as we anticipate, the deal will be ready for signing on August 15," he added.

The ceremony of signing the EDCA will be held in the presence of the Polish president at the Presidential Palace between Pompeo, as a representative of US President Donald Trump, and Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Duda's aide said.

After the ceremony, Pompeo will meet for talks with Duda. Later he will attend the commemoration of the centennial of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, in which Polish forces defeated the Bolsheviks.

Next on the agenda is the US Secretary of State's meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

According to an August 6 press release of the US Department of State, the talks will concern, in addition to deepening defence ties, "recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, securing 5G networks, and improving regional energy and infrastructure through the Three Seas Initiative (a project that focuses on cross-border infrastructural cooperation of countries located between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas - PAP)."

On Wednesday Pompeo confirmed that he was leaving on Monday for the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria and Poland, and described the countries as America's friends.

"It’ll be a very important and productive trip, I expect," Pompeo told reporters at the US Department of State.

The visit comes after the Pentagon last week laid out a plan to shift nearly 12,000 troops out of Germany. Trump has justified the move by saying that Berlin was not spending enough on defence.

In late July, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper announced that the Pentagon was starting the relocation of around 12,000 US troops from Germany, of which some 5,600 would be re-allocated to other NATO member states, including Poland.

He also said that the US plans to locate the forward elements the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters in Poland.

On July 31, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher announced the completion of Polish-US negotiations on the EDCA.

Polish and US Presidents, Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump, signed a declaration on military cooperation in New York at the end of September 2019. The document detailed the provisions of a previous declaration, announced in June 2019, which confirmed the stay in Poland of about 4,500 US military personnel and announced the deployment of about a thousand more. The September declaration includes locations for the planned enhanced US military presence in Poland.

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