President: We would like to invite Canadian soldiers to Poland
President Andrzej Duda on a visit to Ottawa on Wednesday expressed his hope for a greater presence of Canadian troops on NATO’s eastern flank.
"We would like to invite Canadian soldiers to Poland," he said during a meeting with Canada’s Governor-General David Lloyd Johnston.
A luncheon attended by the Polish presidential couple and the Canadian governor-general (representative of the British Queen Elizabeth II) and his wife marked an end to Andrzej Duda’s four-day visit to Canada.
The Polish president said that, when it came to NATO’s July summit in Warsaw, the primary goal was to strengthen NATO’s presence in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the south of the continent. He added that Canadian soldiers have been staying in Poland on a rotating basis since Russia violated Ukraine’s borders in 2014.
"Thank you for understanding our needs, not just purely Polish needs, but needs in the sense of Central Europe as a whole," said president Duda, adding that this understanding on the part of Canada clearly showed that Canada believed it was necessary to respect international law, the sovereignty of nations and the inviolability of borders.
"We are aware that violations of borders in Europe and violations of international law are what poses the greatest threat to world peace today," Duda said. "I hope that in connection with this, during the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Canada will support our efforts to strengthen the alliance’s presence in this part of Europe."
"We would like to invite Canadian troops to Poland," Andrzej Duda went on. "I hope that soon there will be more of them and that, together with our other NATO partners, we will be able to hone our skills in the art of defence, because such is precisely the purpose of NATO." He added that NATO was a defensive organisation and that its purpose was to maintain peace, not war.
At the moment, Canadian soldiers are staying in Poland as part of NATO’s Operation Reassurance that began after Russia invaded Ukraine in March 2014. The operation is designed to ensure security for the countries in the region.
Source: president.pl; PAP