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Polish President Duda meets Donald Trump for pre-election boost

by editor

US President Donald Trump hosted his Polish counterpart in Washington on Wednesday for a meeting that comes just days before an election in Poland.

The Polish President is the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March.

Populist leader Duda will be hoping for a pre-election windfall ahead of the country’s presidential election on June 28, which could see him in office for a second term.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been closer to Poland than right now,” Trump told reporters. “I have a very good personal relationship with the president.”

Duda said it was a “privilege and an honour” to be at White House and he hoped to discuss building an even “stronger alliance”.

Discussions will focus on a defence cooperation agreement, which would grant Poland with extra US military assistance.

Warsaw has consistently demanded the extra military aid in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In June last year, Trump agreed to send 1,000 more troops to Poland to up its defences against Russia. The project, which was dropped, was unofficially named ‘Fort Trump’.

According to the Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, 30 US F-16 fighter jets stationed in Germany could be moved to Poland along with some 2,000 troops.

But Poland will also have to tread carefully so as not to be seen to be taking advantage of Germany, a fellow NATO ally.

NATO promised Russia in 1997 not to set up permanent bases in the former eastern bloc.

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