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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Polish role in transatlantic relations among President's topics at Davos

  |   The possibility of Poland's influence on improving transatlantic relations were among the topics of President Andrzej Duda's talks in Davos The possibility of Poland's influence on improving transatlantic relations were among the topics of President Andrzej Duda's talks in Davos The possibility of Poland's influence on improving transatlantic relations were among the topics of President Andrzej Duda's talks in Davos The possibility of Poland's influence on improving transatlantic relations were among the topics of President Andrzej Duda's talks in Davos

The possibility of Poland's influence on improving transatlantic relations were among the topics of President Andrzej Duda's talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

 

Earlier in the day, Andrzej Duda attended a series of closed debates devoted to the future of EU-US ties which was attended by, among other officials, former British PM Tony Blair. Relating the talks to Polish media on Wednesday, Duda said they concerned relations with the US, the raising of defence spending by the NATO states, how Poland could help improve relations between "certain EU partners" and Washington, and the Middle East situation. In this context Duda spoke about the presence of NATO forces in Central-East Europe, and said that it proved the Alliance's vitality.

 

"In recent years NATO has shown its vitality, especially in the region in which Poland is located - Central Europe," Andrzej Duda told reporters.

 

He added that during the talks, he also tried to explain US President Donald Trump's vision of politics, especially his "businesslike" approach to political issues, which is the result of his lengthy activity as a financier.

 

"We must understand President Donald Trump's very specific approach to political activity. The president has been a businessman all his life, and he also has a businesslike approach to politics. Some even call it transactional. He simply believes that if he offers something, if the United States offer something, they can expect reciprocity. Maybe not on an equal level, but according to a given country's capabilities," Andrzej Duda said.

 

Recounting the debates on the Middle East, Andrzej Duda said he found them especially important in view of Poland's hosting of an international conference devoted to the region in three weeks' time. Duda said he was very pleased that the meeting will take place in Warsaw, and stressed that Poland maintains a neutral stand on the Middle East issue. He added that as a non-standing UN Security Council member, Poland sees itself as committed to defending the observance of international law and striving for peaceful solutions.

 

"I found these debates very interesting, because as you know, in three weeks we will be hosting a Middle East peace conference (...) in Warsaw. Poland is the meeting's host, and this makes me very happy, because our stand on the issue is absolutely neutral. Today, we are a non-standing member of the UN Security Council, and in this aspect our basic goal is to defend observance of international laws, i.e., strive for peace," Andrzej Duda observed.

 

Asked if anyone at Davos had voiced doubts about Poland's organisation of the conference, Andrzej Duda said no doubts or reservations had been forwarded, and added that Poland had received numerous congratulations in connection with the meeting, on the sidelines of the Davos forum.

 

Commenting on the European situation, Duda said Europe needed reconstruction to make it more "cohesive and fraternal." Asked about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's earlier suggestions of a common EU defence system, Duda said Poland supported military cooperation on the EU level, but observed that any such undertaking would have to be carried out "in synergy" with NATO.

 

Our cooperation within the EU should be synergistic with our cooperation in NATO. So there must be full compatibility here when it comes to (...) expanding military potential," the president said. (PAP)

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