Statement by Andrzej Duda at the joint conference with Donald Trump
Distinguished Mr. President,
Magnificent First Lady of the United States,
All Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, my wife and I would like to thank very much President Donald Trump and his Spouse, Melania, for inviting us to Washington, for this opportunity to make yet another official visit to the United States, to the White House in the last 10 months. This clearly shows how close and good the contacts between Poland and the United States are today.
See also: Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation Regarding U.S. Force Posture in Poland Presidential Couple's visit to the White House Remark by President Andrzej Duda at the Polish-American Reception Mr President, we all hope that you will be able, Sir, to visit Poland in September giving us an opportunity to jointly commemorate all those who fell in World War 2, which began in Poland on 1 September 1939, with the country’s invasion by the Nazi Germany. And soon our country ceased to exist on the map of Europe in the wake of the Soviet Union attack on Poland together with the onslaught by the Nazi Germany. That is what our history has been like: very difficult.
Today, it is the United States of America who is Poland's ally - but also a true ally of a free Europe: the country which considerably helped Europe to win World War 2, and then to establish an independent, sovereign and free world, which later came to be the European Union in Europe and continues to exist to this day. And, thank God, we are also part of the free world - also thanks to the support of successive presidents of the United States and since 1989, thanks to the great movement, Solidarity, and the great determination of the Polish people.
Also Poland, as she managed to break free from the Iron Curtain, the curtain which subsequently collapsed altogether, through the votes of the people in the 1989 elections when they said 'no' to the Communists, can today develop as an independent and truly sovereign country; the country that wants to build the European community. But we also want as a country to build the Euro-Atlantic community as it is - in our understanding - an absolutely crucial element of peace and good cooperation in the world.
Thank you very much, Mr President, for you are certainly one of those Presidents of the United States who understand this rule perfectly well: namely that the attention paid by the United States to Europe and its affairs, to the security of European countries, is of key importance for peace in the world, and is crucial for the peaceful development of democratic states and democratic societies.
Thank you, Mr President, for your extraordinary friendliness towards Poland and the extraordinary understanding you show to Polish matters, which you demonstrated to us during your visit to Poland in 2017 in your memorable speech at the monument to the Warsaw Uprising. The words spoken to the Poles back then were so important, the words which are of historic significance to our nation and – as I firmly believe - to Europe, showing us what Poland means and who the Poles are. Thank you very much, Mr President, for those words back then.
I would also like to thank you, Sir, for the policy, which is currently being implemented, and which shows that you are a man and a politician who not only speaks, but for whom, above all, actions are most important. When the President says: "Make America great again", that means, "make", not "say", not "talk about America", let's do that - and that is the most important thing.
That is why there are agreements that we are signing, the two agreements between our countries concluded today and the two memorandums of understanding we have just signed. One of them I have signed personally - concerning security and military cooperation. As the President said, there will be more American soldiers in Poland, and this will an enhanced cooperation. It will entail permanent presence that will gradually, I hope, develop in terms of the numbers of soldiers, but also in terms of infrastructure. This is very important.
I would also like to thank you, Sir, for the decision to establish a division-level command in Poland. This is of great significance not only for Poland, but also for our part of Europe, for Central Europe, for the Baltic States - for all those for whom, in fact, a strengthened presence of the United States and other NATO countries on the Alliance's eastern flank has been established. I greatly appreciate that.
I would also like to thank you, Mr President, for the other agreements. Thank you for the agreement, which provides for joint prevention and prosecution of the most serious crimes. It really brings us closer to visa-free arrangement between Poland and the United States, which matters so much, and is so important to you, Mr. President and to me, and to Poles in particular.
Thank you, Mr President, also for the excellent energy cooperation on LNG supplies. We talked about it back in 2017 in Warsaw, during our meeting with you, Sir, proposing that gas from the United States should be supplied to Poland - and it is being supplied. More contracts are being signed. Nowadays, gas tankers from the United States arrive at the Swinoujscie port. Gas supplied from the United States has become a fact in Poland and in our part of Europe.
I appreciate the fact that there will be even more of these supplies, Mr President. I am very happy about it. For us it means diversifying our sources of supply, for us it is tantamount to developing gas security, for us it means good business, as much as it also is for the United States, as I trust.
I would also like to thank you, Sir, for the agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, nuclear energy for civil use. I hope that together we will be able to implement this programme to the benefit of environmental protection, to the benefit of global climate protection and also promoting security of my own home country.
Mr. President, I am very grateful for this visit. Thanks to it, we can demonstrate the very good cooperation we have between Poland, as part of the European Union, and the United States. It is my profound conviction that thanks to your extraordinary insight into European affairs and your understanding of our Polish affairs and the meanders of our history, this cooperation will develop better and better. Above all, to the benefit of the United States, whose interests you represent, Sir, but also showing understanding for the rest of the world. Thank you so much for that.