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Trump, Duda celebrate military cooperation with F-35 flyover

By Ed Adamczyk & Danielle Haynes
1/7
Trump, Duda celebrate military cooperation with F-35 flyover
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Polish President Andrzej Duda during a meeting in the Oval Office on Wednesday. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

June 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda celebrated a new military cooperation agreement Wednesday with a flyover of U.S. F-35 fighter jets at the White House in Washington, D.C.

As part of the agreement, Trump announced, Poland will provide the "infrastructure to support military presence of about 1,000 troops."

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During an Oval Office meeting with Duda, Trump told reporters the United States could move up to 2,000 troops in Europe to Poland to join about 4,500 currently there.

"We haven't totally made up a decision," Trump said.

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The additional troops will be sent to "enhance mutual interoperability" of the two countries' militaries, an unnamed administration official said on Tuesday. He noted that the added U.S. personnel will not be combat troops but "would potentially focus on providing additional defense and deterrence capabilities in Poland including training, advisers, ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and sustainment support."

The United States regularly rotates troops in Poland, a NATO ally.

After Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Poland, which borders Russia, voiced concerns over its own safety. Since then, the United States has sent a rotational brigade to Poland, which participates in training exercises with Polish forces.

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Poland requested a U.S. troop increase in September, when Duda and Trump met in Washington. At the time, Duda referred to the United States as "a guarantor of security in our part of Europe."

The full details of the agreement signed Wednesday were not revealed, but it includes the sale of F-35 jets to Poland.

During Duda's visit, the two leaders also signed a Preventing and Combatting Serious Crimes Agreement, which puts Poland one step closer to joining the Visa Waiver Program.

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