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Polish president travels to US, Canada, plans to meet with Trump in New York

16.04.2024 20:00
Polish President Andrzej Duda has headed to the United States and Canada for talks on international security, infrastructure and energy, his aides said on Tuesday, confirming reports that the visit may include a meeting with former US President Donald Trump.
Polands President Andrzej Duda boards the plane to head to the United States and Canada on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda boards the plane to head to the United States and Canada on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Duda's weeklong visit beginning on Wednesday includes meetings in New York with United Nations officials including Secretary-General António Guterres.

The meetings will focus on security challenges in Poland's region, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the situation in the Middle East amid an escalating conflict between Israel and Iran, according to Mieszko Pawlak, a top foreign policy aide to the Polish president.

Pawlak told reporters that Duda would take part in "a high-level meeting on strengthening the resilience of nations, economies and societies by building infrastructure connections."

Polish president may meet with Trump in New York

Duda said on Tuesday he may hold talks with Donald Trump in New York, as Europe prepares for the possibility of the Republican's return to the White House.

Asked if he plans to meet with Trump, Duda said: "I meet with friends who once served as presidents and with whom I conducted Polish affairs in the international arena. If there is such a possibility, because it also depends on the schedule, I will also meet socially with ... Donald Trump in New York."

A Trump campaign official confirmed a meeting would take place, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.

The two will meet on Wednesday evening at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

After his engagements in New York, the Polish president, accompanied by First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, will travel to Canada, where his schedule includes trips to Vancouver and Esquimalt, British Columbia, as well as Edmonton, Alberta, in addition to a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Polish presidential couple. The Polish presidential couple. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Duda told reporters before boarding the plane that during his meeting with Trudeau he wanted to discuss the idea of increasing defence spending by NATO allies from 2 to 3 percent of GDP.

"This is an extremely important issue for building a European security system and providing an effective response to growing Russian imperialism," Duda said.

According to an announcement by the Canadian Prime Minister's Office, Duda will visit Canada from April 18 to 23 and meet with Trudeau in Esquimalt "to discuss their unwavering support to Ukraine and their shared commitment to transatlantic security ahead of the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington in July, as well as bilateral cooperation on energy security and clean energy."

The Canadian Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that the two countries "share a longstanding relationship built on the Polish-Canadian community" and shared values.

Duda’s visit to Canada will be "an opportunity to deepen bilateral ties and make life better for people on both sides of the Atlantic," according to the statement

Trudeau was quoted as saying that “Canada and Poland are good friends and steadfast allies."

"I look forward to welcoming President Duda to Canada and deepening the partnership between our two countries," Trudeau said.

"Together, we will defend peace and security through NATO, remain resolute in support of Ukraine, and create good jobs and opportunity for people in Canada and in Poland,” he added.

The Poland-Canada relationship has a strong historical foundation that is rooted in the deep personal ties to Poland maintained by the nearly 1 million-strong Polish-Canadian community, making Canada one of the largest Polish diasporas in the world, according to the Canadian Prime Minister's Office.

This will be Duda’s second visit to Canada, and the first visit by a Polish head of state to western Canada, it said.

The Canadian Prime Minister's Office noted that Duda and Trudeau last met on February 26 in Warsaw, after Trudeau's trip to Kyiv, where he announced additional support for Ukraine, two years after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 783 of Russias war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, pm.gc.ca

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.