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B9 Summit/Polish President Duda: President Biden's attendance, a clear signal of the US interest in this part of Europe

Politico Europe
Andrzej Duda

President Joe Biden's attendance in the B9 Summit in Bucharest is "a clear signal of the US interest in this part of Europe," Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Monday in Bucharest in a statement delivered jointly with President Klaus Iohannis at the end of the virtual summit of the eastern European NATO states.

We all know that the US is the world's greatest peace guarantor, the greatest security guarantor. (...) For me, President Joe Biden's presence in our meeting today sends a very important signal about two elements: the attendance of the US President shows his interest in this alliance, that he takes interest in us as members of this alliance (...) and it seems to me that the presence of the President is a clear signal regarding the US interest in this part of Europe, said Andrzej Duda according to the official translation.

The Polish head of state also referred to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on NATO's common defense requirement.

President Biden's intervention at the B9 gathering - President Duda said - confirms NATO's obligations to our states, confirms the presence of the American policy in this part of Europe, that it stands by our side, with us.

Duda also pointed out that the participants in the B9 Summit have spoken in a unitary voice.

If anyone were to hear each president's intervention (...) they would note that in all these addresses, the emphasis was placed on seeing what is happening in the eastern area, of course given the dangers that have arisen. And again, there is an unsettling specter looming over this part of Europe and which has been rising since 2008, with the actions in Georgia, up to what happened recently in Ukraine; in addition, today the future situation of Belarus is being questioned - what kind of Belarus will we have in the coming years, will Belarus be a sovereign country? These are the questions we, the Central European states are asking. We are also looking at the insecurity in Moldova, and are interested in what is happening in the Western Balkans as well, Duda said.

The Polish President also called for the opening of the Alliance to new members, bringing to mind the communist period in Central and Eastern Europe.

Whereas a few decades ago we were behind the Iron Curtain, enviously looking at developed countries, today the North Atlantic Alliance must remain open and those who want to join must be convinced that if they meet the Alliance requirements, they can do so, Duda said.

The President of Poland also reminded that the B9 Summit precedes the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels this June and that the event in Bucharest has highlighted the emerging dangers, especially with regard to Ukraine, given Russia's latest actions on the Ukrainian border.

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