President Andrzej Duda continues to pursue active international policy

2019-08-06 16:58 update: 2019-08-06, 21:16
Andrzej Duda. PAP/Leszek Szymanski
Andrzej Duda. PAP/Leszek Szymanski
Four years ago, after winning presidential elections, Andrzej Duda was sworn in as president before the National Assembly on August 6, 2015. The following is a resume of President Duda's activities on the international arena.

In the fourth year of his five-year presidential term, Andrzej Duda twice paid an official visit to the White House, vetoed one bill,  sent two bills to the Constitutional Tribunal and submitted several of his own projects to the Sejm (lower house of parliament).

As regards foreign policy, one of the most important issues dealt with by President Duda this year was Polish-American relations, including the issue of increasing the US military presence in Poland. In the fourth year of his presidency, Andrzej Duda paid two official visits to the White House, in September 2018 and in June 2019.

During the September 18, 2018, White House meeting of the Polish and US presidents, the parties signed a joint Polish-American declaration on cooperation in the fields of security and defence, energy, trade and investment. During a press conference at the time, Andrzej Duda expressed hope that US President Donald Trump would decide to send more troops to Poland. In turn, Trump said that permanent US bases would be "useful" to raise both countries' security.

The effect of this year's meeting of Presidents Duda and Trump, held in Washington on June 12, was the signing of a declaration on Polish-American defence cooperation, according to which the US will plan to increase its military presence in Poland by about one thousand soldiers.

In addition to an official visit to the White House, the Polish president paid a several-day economic visit to the US.

The Polish and US presidents are expected to meet during Trump's planned visit to Poland on August 31-September 2. The US president is to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two. According to Wojciech Kolarski of the President's Office this will be the ninth Duda-Trump meeting.

During the past year of the president's term, Andrzej Duda has paid visits, among others, to Australia and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Germany. In January, the president participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, as well as in the summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Slovenia and the Bucharest Nine summit in Kosice.

While in Bosnia, the president met with soldiers of the Polish Military Contingent at the European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) and soldiers of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Kosovo, while in December 2018, Duda visited Polish soldiers stationed in Romania.

In March, Andrzej Duda, together with Presidents Milos Zeman, Andrej Kiska and Janos Ader, took part in celebrations marking NATO's enlargement. In 2004, the Alliance was joined by Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The president also visited the Vatican where he was received at an audience by Pope Francis. While in Rome, Andrzej Duda also visited the Rome seat of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

During the past year, visits to Poland were paid, among others, by: Lithuania's new President Gitanas Nauseda, the new President of Slovakia Zuzana Czaputova, President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, and President of Hungary Janos Ader. A private visit to Poland was also paid by Japanese Crown Prince Akishino and his wife Crown Princess Kiko.

In February, President Duda took part in the Warsaw international conference on building peace and security in the Middle East.
The event was attended, among others, by US Vice-President Mike Pence, who also paid a bilateral visit to Poland. Duda and Pence held a round of talks at the Belvedere Place and together toured the grounds of the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The two also met with Polish and US soldiers stationed in the 1st Transport Aviation Base in Warsaw. (PAP)