Polish President Duda says he may meet Trump in New York

  • World
  • Tuesday, 16 Apr 2024

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a joint news conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish President Andrzej Duda may meet Donald Trump during a visit to New York this week, he said on Tuesday, as European leaders prepare for the possibility of the Republican's return to the White House.

Nationalist Duda, whose term in office expires in 2025, was one of Trump's preferred international partners during his presidency. The Polish president's top aide has said they remain in contact.

"If there is such a possibility, because it also depends on the schedule, I will also meet socially with... Donald Trump," Duda told reporters before boarding his plane.

Tabloid Fakt and news portal WP.pl both earlier cited sources as saying that an informal meeting would take place on a visit to New York during which Duda is scheduled to meet United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

A Trump campaign official confirmed the meeting would take place.

Trump, who went on trial in New York over a hush money payment on Monday, is in a tight race with U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of the November presidential election.

Many European leaders have long been nervous that another Trump presidency would mean waning U.S. support for Poland's neighbour Ukraine and the NATO military alliance.

Poland is a staunch ally of Ukraine and both Duda and liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk have urged United States lawmakers to approve $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

While Tusk and Duda are bitterly divided over a host of domestic issues, they are united on the importance of continued support for Ukraine.

"If he actually meets (with Trump), we would expect him to firmly raise the issue of clearly siding with the West and Europe in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict," Tusk told reporters on Tuesday.

He said his foreign minister would also brief Duda on the importance of speeding up the delivery of American weapons to Poland.

Hungary's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, met Trump in March, saying afterwards that Trump told him he would not give money to help Ukraine fight Russia if he wins the U.S. presidency again.

Tusk said he had the impression that almost everyone in Poland understood that a Trump victory would be to the detriment of "the security of Poland, Europe and the future of NATO".

(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Anna Koper and Pawel Florkiewicz; Additional reporting by Timothy Reid in Washington; Editing by Ros Russell, Alexandra Hudson)

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