US, Poland Sign Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement

The United States and Poland signed a recently negotiated Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) Saturday in Warsaw.Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak inked the agreement after brief remarks by President Andrzej Duda. “The United States values our strong bilateral relationship with Poland. We look forward to Poland’s swift ratification of the EDCA, which will permit us to implement fully the enhanced defense cooperation envisioned by Presidents Trump and Duda,” the State Department said in a statement.The deal supplements an existing NATO Status of Forces Agreement and also allows U.S. forces access to additional military installations in Poland.About 4,500 U.S. troops are currently based in Poland and about 1,000 will be added, as both counties agreed and announced last year. Last July, the Pentagon said that about 12,000 troops would be withdrawn from Germany, from which some 5,600 would be stationed in other countries in Europe, including Poland.The relocation of U.S. troops is in line with President Donald Trump’s demand to reduce American forces in Germany.Also Saturday, Pompeo met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Poland’s capital, where he is honoring the centennial of the Battle of Warsaw, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.Pompeo and Morawiecki discussed a new draft bilateral agreement to cooperate in the development of Poland’s civil nuclear power program, which the two countries initialed this week.Besides defense cooperation, Pompeo and Morawiecki discussed the support for the people of Belarus, measures to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, securing 5G networks, and improving regional energy and infrastructure through the Three Seas Initiative, Ortagus said.Poland is the last leg of Pompeo’s four-nation tour of eastern and central Europe, during which he visited the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austria, and met with the countries’ leaders.

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