Trump to visit Warsaw on World War-II commemoration

Warsaw, July 31 (IANS) US President Donald Trump will come to Warsaw on September 1 for the 80th commemoration of the start of the World War-II, a spokesperson for the Polish President told media on Tuesday, after receiving confirmation from the White House.

Trump is scheduled to arrive in Poland on the evening of August 31 and stay until September 2. He is expected to hold a series of meetings with the Polish side and other high-level guests invited by Warsaw to the commemoration.

Trump's visit was already rumoured for months in Poland. Polish media had reported that it was likely that the US President would publicly announce a strengthening of US military presence on Polish soil, which has been much anticipated by the Polish leadership.

Back in April, Polish daily Rzeczpospolita had reported that Trump would only come to Warsaw if a deal between the US and Poland on the troop increase would be finalised by then.

According to the US official sources quoted by Rzeczpospolita, the White House had been pushing the Pentagon to finalise a deal with Poland on the US troop increase as soon as possible, as it preferred to complete the negotiations with the current Polish government. General elections in Poland are scheduled this fall.

Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Trump in Washington in June to discuss some final aspects of the deal. At the time, Trump said in a press conference that the US would send an additional 1,000 troops to Poland, which would be taken from the American contingent in Germany. This would add to the 4,500 troops already stationed in Poland on a rotational basis.

It seems highly unlikely, however, that the US will build a permanent military base on Polish soil. The Polish government had been lobbying for this for over a year, dubbing the project "Fort Trump" and committing to paying $2 billion on building it.

--IANS

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