Aide: US relations, regional cooperation priorities of presidency
A day ahead of the fourth anniversary of Polish President Andrzej Duda's swearing-in, senior aide Krzysztof Szczerski said the Duda presidency's priorities have been trans-Atlantic relations and cooperation in regional political formats.
Summing up Andrzej Duda's four years in office, Krzysztof Szczerski said the flagship of the presidency had been US relations, as well as ties within NATO.
Krzysztof Szczerski highlighted the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw and its decisions as an event that would be remembered and which would not have been possible "without the strong personal engagement and leadership of President Duda as the host of the summit." He also pointed to the signing of an agreement on increasing the presence of US military forces in Poland, which took place during a June visit by Andrzej Duda to the White House.
Energy cooperation with the USA is another area Szczerski described as an important aspect of Polish relations with the US. He said that successful negotiations had allowed the first shipments of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Poland as an alternative energy source.
The upcoming second official visit to Poland by US President Donald Trump was also proffered by Szczerski as evidence of the intensive nature of Polish-US relations, and he suggested there may be an announcement during the trip regarding the lifting of visas for Poles wishing to visit the United States.
On the regional front, Krzysztof Szczerski mentioned the Bucharest Nine grouping of countries on NATO's eastern flank as an example of initiatives co-created by Andrzej Duda. He launched the initiative together with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and it has become "a format recognised in NATO as a lasting form of coordination of NATO policy."
Another regional initiative Szczerski said had been important is the Three Seas Initiative, grouping 12 countries situated between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas. This was an initiative started by President Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, which Krzysztof Szczerski said had attracted the positive attention of the European Commission as well as the European Investment Bank, and a Three Seas Fund is being created. (PAP)