Poland, US to sign defence cooperation agreement on August 15: minister

Poland and the United States will sign a major defence cooperation agreement on August 15, the Polish defence minister has announced.

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz BłaszczakPhoto: AK/Polish Radio

The new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) will be signed when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Warsaw next week, Mariusz Błaszczak said on Saturday.

He told public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency that the signing ceremony would coincide with events to mark the 100th anniversary of Poland’s victory over the Russian Bolsheviks in the 1920 Battle of Warsaw.

The announcement comes after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week that Poland and the United States had completed negotiations on an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, building on their existing security cooperation and cementing their “long-standing defense partnership.”

Esper said in a statement at the time that the agreement “will enable an increased enduring U.S. rotational presence of about 1,000 personnel,” in addition to “the 4,500 U.S. personnel already on rotation in Poland.”

Poland’s Błaszczak said at the end of last week that the completion of negotiations on the agreement marked „an important day for Poland’s security.”

He added at the time that the two countries would “soon sign a final agreement on the enduring presence of US troops in Poland.”

Earlier this week, officials and military men from the two countries held a high-profile ceremony in the southern Polish city of Kraków to officially confirm plans to establish a new US Army headquarters in Poland.

The US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, said during the event that „the Polish-US relationship continues to grow as we increase our military and civilian cooperation.”

During a meeting at the White House in June last year, US President Donald Trump and Poland’s Andrzej Duda 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.

(gs)

Source: IAR

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