Andrzej Duda ratified the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Warsaw, in the presence of officials from both countries.
The high-profile event, attended by Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and the US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, was held after the two countries signed the agreement in Warsaw in August.
Duda said during Monday's televised ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic that "the US military presence strengthens the security of this part of Europe, strengthens the security of the NATO alliance, and is a guarantee that Article 5 of the [North] Atlantic Treaty will be respected."
The deal had long been sought by Poland, a staunch US military ally fearful of Russia. Around 4,500 American troops are already stationed in Poland on a rotating basis.
The western Polish city of Poznań was in September named as the location of a forward command post of the U.S. Army's Fifth Corps headquarters.
In a statement posted on the White House website in the summer, US President Donald Trump was cited as saying the agreement would "enhance our military cooperation and increase the United States military presence in Poland to further strengthen NATO deterrence, bolster European security, and help ensure democracy, freedom, and sovereignty.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said during a visit to Warsaw in mid-August that the deal was "another step in our robust military cooperation for our collective security."
During a meeting at the White House in June last year, the Polish and US presidents inked a declaration in which America pledged to station around 1,000 extra troops in Poland. They also sealed a raft of economic agreements.
The two presidents in September 2019 signed a defence agreement to name locations for more American troops in Poland.
Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info
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