Fwd: Pool report 6 - Obama/Duda statement

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From: Andrew BEATTY >
Date: July 8, 2016 at 2:55:24 PM GMT+2
To: "Allen, Jessica (xxx@email.com)" >
Subject: Pool report 6 - Obama/Duda statement

POTUS and Polish president Andrzej Duda emerged from their meeting to give statements to the press at around 14:15.

During the remarks POTUS confirmed the deployment of US troops to Poland to beef-up NATO forces on its eastern flank.

"As the Alliance prepares to enhance our forward presence in eastern Europe I can announce that the United States will be the lead nation for the NATO presence here in Poland. And that means the United States will deploy a battalion, roughly 1,000 American soldiers here in Poland on a rotational basis to serve shoulder to shoulder with Polish soldiers."

He also said that a US  armored brigade rotating through Europe would have its headquarters in Poland.

"In other words Poland will be seeing an increase in NATO and American personnel and in the most modern military equipment."

Before that, Duda spoke first and touched on economic and military cooperation. He welcomed "decisive support" the US has given to strengthen NATO forces in central Europe and offered condolences on the shootings in Dallas.

POTUS thanked his host and said it was wonderful to be back in Poland. He spoke about Poles living in Chicago and said the country was one of the "most committed and important allies" in NATO. He spoke of a "solemn, binding"  duty for the US to defend Poland.

Pivoting to Poland's constitution, POTUS also expressed "concerns" about controversial reforms enacted by Duda's government, which have been accused of curbing the media and of being undemocratic.

"I expressed to President Duda our concerns about certain actions and the impasse around Poland's constitutional tribunal. I insisted that we are very respectful of Poland's sovereignty and I recognized that parliament is working on legislation to take important steps but more needs to be done. And as your friends and ally we've urged all parties to work together to sustain Poland's democratic institutions. That's what makes us democracies, not just by the words written in constitutions or in the fact that we vote in elections, but the institutions we depend on every day, such as rule of law, independent judiciaries and a free press."

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