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Trump announces transfer of troops from Germany to Poland

(Washington) US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday the transfer of troops from Germany to Poland, a strong gesture in favor of his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda four days before a perilous election where the nationalist leader will run for a second term.

Jerome CARTILLIER

France Media Agency

Confirming that he wanted to drastically reduce the number of American soldiers stationed in Germany, the tenant of the White House, who maintains very tense relations with Angela Merkel, in a striking contrast, insisted on his good understanding with Andrzej Duda .

“We are going to reduce our forces in Germany. Some will return, others will go to other places, but Poland will be one of these other places in Europe, “he said during their joint press conference, without specifying the number of soldiers concerned. nor on the calendar.

For his part, the Polish president assured that he had asked Mr. Trump “not to withdraw American troops from Europe” in order to preserve the security of the continent while saying he wanted to welcome more American soldiers Poland.

PHOTO EVAN VUCCI, AP

Polish leader Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

The decision to partially withdraw American troops from Germany has heightened tensions between Washington and its European allies in NATO.

Donald Trump has had plenty of praise for his Polish “friend”, the first foreign leader invited to the White House since the first containment measures linked to the COVID pandemic – 19 in the USA.

“The Poles consider him to be a great man,” he said, saying that he was doing “a fantastic job” in his country. “I don't think he needs my help,” he added, dismissing accusations of interference in the Polish democratic process with a backhand.

In search of a second term, the candidate for the Law and Justice (PiS) party has long been a favorite but has been losing momentum for several weeks.

His main rival, the centrist and europhile mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, is now playing with him in the second round in the polls.

Turn the page of COVID – 19

Very criticized for his management of the coronavirus epidemic, Donald Trump hoped him, with this visit, to demonstrate, despite worrying figures of contamination, that his country is turning the page of COVID- 19.

Four months before the US presidential election, the republican billionaire is struggling to regain the momentum of 2016 which allowed him to create the biggest surprise in modern political history against Hillary Clinton.

According to a survey by the New York Times and Siena College and made public on Wednesday, its democratic opponent Joe Biden now has a large lead in the voting intentions (50 % against 36%).

This meeting was far from unanimous in Washington. The democrat of the House of Representatives Marcy Kaptur said, as an American-Polish, disturbed by the initiative “moved” by Donald Trump aiming to “interfere in Polish politics”.

“Unfortunately, this invitation from President Trump is not surprising when you know his taste for leaders with a grasp and those who weaken democratic institutions,” she added, recalling the recent statements by Mr. Duda who compared “LGBT ideology” to communism.

“No American president should meet a foreign leader – friend or enemy – a few days before an election in which he / she is in the running,” echoes Molly Montgomery, researcher at the Brookings Institution. “It weakens the Polish democratic process and it weakens our own values.”

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