Biden To Host Polish President And Prime Minister On March 12, 25 Years After Poland Joined Nato

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, left, and President Andrzej Duda attend a meeting of the Cabinet Council, a consultation format between the president and the government, in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday Feb. 13, 2024. Tusk said Tuesday he has documentation proving that state authorities under the previous government used powerful Pegasus spyware illegally and that list of victims" was "very long ". (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, left, and President Andrzej Duda attend a meeting of the Cabinet Council, a consultation format between the president and the government, in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday Feb. 13, 2024. Tusk said Tuesday he has documentation proving that state authorities under the previous government used powerful Pegasus spyware illegally and that list of victims" was "very long ". (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden will host Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk for a meeting in Washington on March 12, the 25th anniversary of Poland’s joining the NATO Alliance, the White House said Thursday.

A statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the leaders will “reaffirm their unwavering support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s brutal war of conquest.”

The struggle is taking place across Poland’s eastern border, on NATO's eastern flank.

The declaration of support is especially significant now, when political infighting in U.S. Congress is stalling approval of a $60 billion aid package for Kyiv.

The meeting will underscore that Washington and Warsaw share an “ironclad commitment to the NATO Alliance, which makes us all safer,” the statement said, adding that the three leaders will “coordinate” ahead of the NATO Summit in Washington in July.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Thursday that the meeting is “also a terrific opportunity to show our gratitude for everything that Poland has done, not just as a great NATO ally (...) but everything they’ve done to help support Ukraine.”

Poland last year spent some 4% of its GDP on defense and has earmarked some 3.1% of its 2024 GDP for that purpose, among the highest rates of defense spending for NATO's 31 member countries.

Duda said that rate of spending shows that Poland is a “reliable ally and a model” for fellow NATO members. Many of them have been criticized by former U.S. President Donald Trump and others for spending less than the 2% of GDP they committed to a decade ago.

Duda said on X, formerly Twitter, that the joint trip on the anniversary of Poland's accession to NATO “shows that the Polish-U.S. alliance is strong and will remain strong regardless of who rules in both countries."

The U.S.-Polish strategic energy security partnership, economic ties and “shared commitment to democratic values” will also be a theme of discussions.

In Poland, the joint trip of the two top figures will have additional significance, because the two men come from opposite sides of the country's political divide.

Tusk and his liberal Cabinet took office in December and have been energetically reversing policies of their right-wing predecessors, who they have accused of violating the rule of law and democratic principles.

Duda hails from the right-wing party that ruled until December, and he has accused Tusk's government of violating Poland's constitution and using authoritarian methods.

Duda and Tusk met with Biden in Warsaw on Feb. 21, 2023, when the U.S. leader visited after a trip to Kyiv.