What Trump Promised Duda

A transcript of the U.S. and Polish leaders’ remarks in the Rose Garden.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda speak to the media during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 12.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda speak to the media during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 12. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

This week, Polish President Andrzej Duda met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House. During the meeting, the two signed a new defense agreement that would see the United States move 1,000 of its troops from Germany to Poland. The meeting was not without controversy. Duda has won criticism for his apparent backsliding on democratic norms, and observers have warned that moving troops to Poland could antagonize Russia. But none of that was evident in the remarks from the two leaders, who promised ever closer cooperation.

A full transcript of their remarks is below.

Trump: Thank you very much. Please. Today, Melania and I are honored to welcome President Duda and Mrs. Kornhauser-Duda of Poland back to the White House. They’ve become friends. We last hosted them in Washington in September, and it’s wonderful to see you both again. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Great honor.

Since our last meeting, the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Poland have grown even closer. This year, as our nations mark 100 years of diplomatic relations, the U.S.-Polish alliance is stronger, by far, than ever before.

Earlier today, President Duda and I signed a joint declaration affirming the significant defense cooperation between our nations. And, as the declaration makes clear, the United States and Poland are not only bound by a strategic partnership, but by deep common values, shared goals, and a very strong and abiding friendship.

Our people are united by the enduring ties of civilization, culture, and history. We respect the rule of law, revere individual rights, and prize our timeless traditions. We embrace country, faith, family, and freedom.

Over the past century, brave American and Polish patriots have repeatedly stood together to defend our sovereignty, our liberty, and our noble way of life.

When I was last in Poland, I was very proud to stand among veterans of the Warsaw Uprising and recall their incredible courage in the face of Nazi tyranny.

Today, we honor the sacrifices of all those who came before by doing our part to safeguard our independence and strengthen the incredible U.S.-Polish alliance.

As stated in the joint declaration, the United States and Poland continue to enhance our security cooperation. Poland will still provide basing and infrastructure to support military presence of about 1,000 American troops. The Polish government will build these projects at no cost to the United States. The Polish government will pay for this.

We thank President Duda and the people of Poland for their partnership in advancing our common security.

Poland’s burden-sharing also extends to the NATO alliance, where it is among eight NATO allies, including the United States, currently meeting the minimum 2 percent of GDP that’s for defense spending. And Poland is there. And you’ve been there from a very early date, and we appreciate that very much. And we’ve been there also.

There’s been a total of eight—eight out of 28, and the rest are coming along. Because nations, at my urging, have paid more than $100 billion more toward the NATO defense.

Last month, I was very pleased that Poland announced the intent to purchase 32 American-made F-35 fighter aircraft, like you just saw.

Moments ago, we witnessed that impressive flyover of this cutting-edge F-35 as it flew over the White House and actually came to a—pretty close to a halt over the White House. I was saying, “What’s wrong with that plane? It’s not going very fast.” But it’s an incredible—it’s an incredible thing when you can do that. That plane can land dead straight, and it’s one of the few in the world that can do that. Considered to be the greatest fighter jet in the world.

I applaud President Duda for its efforts to strengthen and modernize Poland’s defenses.

I also want to congratulate Poland for its progress on meeting U.S. criteria for entry into the Visa Waiver Program. Today, our country signed a Preventing and Combating Serious Crimes Agreement—a significant and necessary step for Poland’s entry into the program. Though we still have some work to do, we hope to welcome Poland into the Visa Waiver Program very soon, and that’s a very big deal.

Both of our nations understand that immigration security is national security. In our meeting, President Duda and I discussed the vital issue of energy. Reliance on a single foreign supplier of energy leaves nations totally vulnerable to coercion and extortion.

For this reason, we support Poland’s construction of the Baltic pipeline, which will help European countries diversify their energy sources. It’s desperately needed, and that’s the way to go.

During the past year, Poland has also signed approximately $25 billion worth of new contracts with U.S. firms to buy more than 6 billion cubic meters of U.S. liquefied natural gas. Today, our nations just signed another contract for an additional 2 billion cubic meters worth approximately $8 billion.

So between the planes and the liquefied natural gas, and many other things that Poland is doing—which is doing very well because Poland is doing very, very well—we appreciate it. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Our countries also signed an agreement to expand U.S.-Polish civil nuclear cooperation, which will likewise advance Poland’s energy and security, and deepen our bilateral commercial ties.

Economic relations between the U.S. and Poland are thriving. We’re committed to further expanding commerce based on fairness and reciprocity—perhaps my favorite word.

Across many critical areas—from defense and diplomacy to energy and economics—the alliance between the United States and Poland is reaching extraordinary new heights in 2019. Our long-standing partnership demonstrates the enormous possibilities for the world when two strong and independent nations unite in common purpose and in common cause.

President Duda, it’s a honor to have you with us. And, Mrs. Duda, thank you very much for being here. We usher in a very exciting new era in U.S.-Polish alliance. It’s a very special alliance with very special people. We build a future of promise and prosperity for the American and the Polish people. And, again, our relationship is an extraordinary one, and it’s going to remain that for a long, long time.

Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you.

Duda: (As interpreted.) Distinguished Mr. President, wonderful first lady of the United States of America, distinguished ministers, all distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen:

First and foremost, together with my wife, we would like to thank you very much, Mr. President Donald Trump. Thank you also to the first lady Melania Trump for this invitation to Washington. Thank you for this possibility of holding another, within the last 10 months, official visit to the United States here at the White House.

This clearly demonstrates how close and how good contacts are today between Poland and the United States. Mr. President, all of us hope that you will visit us in Poland, in September, and that we will be able, together, to commemorate the memory of all those who fell and who perished during the Second World War, which started on the first of September, 1939, in Poland through the attack of Nazi Germans on our country. And soon, unfortunately, our country vanished from the map of Europe after the attack of the Soviet Union against Poland, together with Nazi Germany.

That is our history. It’s a very difficult one. And today, we firmly believe that the true ally of Poland, but also a true ally of a free Europe, is precisely the United States of America, who helped that very Europe in such a huge way to win the Second World War and later to establish an independent, sovereign, and free world, which later turned into the European Union.

It exists until this day, and thanks to God. Also thanks to the support of the United States, through the support of subsequent presidents since 1989; thanks to the great Movement of Solidarity; thanks to the great determination of the Polish nation.

Also, we are part of the free world. Also, Poland, which liberated itself from behind the Iron Curtain—which later led to the collapse of the Iron Curtain through the votes of the people casting elections in 1989. In those elections, people said no to communists. Also, Poland can develop today as an independent and truly sovereign country—a country which wants to build the European community and a country which also wants to build the Euro-Atlantic community.

In our understanding, this is an absolutely key element of peace and good cooperation across the globe. Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you that for sure you are among those presidents of the United States who understand how it works perfectly. You understand that when the U.S. looks at Europe, when it looks at the security of the European states, it plays a key role for the peace around the globe. It is of key importance for a peaceful development of democratic states and democratic communities.

Thank you, Mr. President, for this extreme kindness toward Poland and perfect understanding of Polish matters, which you showed to us in 2017 during your visit to Poland, during your memorable speech that you gave at the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising where so immensely important words for Polish people fell, which are of historic importance to our nation and to Europe. They showed what Poland means and who Poles are.

Mr. President, thank you for uttering those words back then. And thank you also for this policy which is being implemented right now, which demonstrates that you are this kind of man and this kind of a politician who not only speaks, but to whom first and most important are the deeds. The most important are the deeds.

And whenever you say, Mr. President, “Make America Great Again,” it means “make” not “say.” And this precisely is of crucial importance, hence the agreements that we are signing; hence two agreements between our two states concluded today: two memorandums of understanding, which we signed just a moment ago. One of them I signed personally concerning the security and military cooperation.

As you mentioned, sir, there will be more American troops in Poland. This is going to be an enhanced cooperation. It’s going to be an enduring presence, which hopefully will increase gradually in terms of the number of troops, but also in terms of infrastructure, which is very important.

Thank you also for the decision to establish the division headquarters in Poland. This is of huge importance not only to Poland, but also to our part of Europe, to Central Europe, to the Baltic States, and to all those to whom the enhanced forward presence was established, of the United States and other NATO states, along NATO’s eastern flank. I’m deeply grateful for that.

But thank you, Mr. President, also for the remaining agreements. Thank you for this agreement which talks about preventing and combatting serious crimes. It moves us closer to visa waiver program between Poland and the United States — which to you, Mr. President, and to me, and, first and foremost to Poles, is so important — is of such a crucial importance.

Thank you, Mr. President, also for excellent energy cooperation that we have in terms of LNG supplies. We talked about this in 2017, in Warsaw, during our meeting, that gas from the United States should be delivered to Poland. And it is delivered. And we are signing more contracts. And gas tankers from the United States are coming to the Port of Swinoujscie today. And the gas from the United States has become a fact in Poland and in our part of Europe.

Thank you, Mr. President, that there are going to be more supplies. I’m very happy about that, because to us, it means diversification of sources of supplies. It also means the development of gas security. To us, it also means good business, just as I do really believe is a good business for the United States of America. But thank you also for the agreement cooperation in terms of nuclear energy used for civil purposes.

I hope that, together, we will be able to implement this program with the benefit for environment protection with the benefit for (inaudible) protection across the globe, and also for the development of the security of my homeland.

Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for this visit. I’m pleased that, thanks to this presence, we’re able to show the very good cooperation that we have between Poland as part of the European Union and the United States.

And I firmly believe that thanks to your incredible view of the European matters, and thanks to your understanding to our Polish matters and to the meanders of our history, this cooperation is going to develop better and better, first and foremost also with the benefit for the United States whose interests you are representing, Mr. President, and also understanding the rest of the world.

Thank you very much for that.

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