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06 July 2017

Donald Trump to give major speech in Poland

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Warsaw airport. Photo: 5 July 2017Image copyright
Reuters

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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Warsaw late on Wednesday

President Donald Trump is due to give a major speech in Poland’s capital Warsaw, laying out his vision for America’s relations with Europe.

Mr Trump can expect a warm welcome when he addresses crowds at Krasinski Square – as Poland’s conservative government shares his hostility to immigration and a strong sense of national sovereignty.

And he will promote trade at talks with Central and Eastern European leaders.

The visit comes ahead of a G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany.

Five reasons why Trump is visiting Poland

Trade talks – is it all about the gas?

First on Mr Trump’s busy Thursday agenda will be the Three Seas summit – a Polish and Croatian initiative bringing together 12 nations between the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

The US president is expected to bang the drum for US trade, telling the gathering that American gas imports could reduce their reliance on Russian energy.

Image copyright
Reuters

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The first US shipment of liquefied natural gas arrived in Poland in June

The Polish government is trying to become less energy-dependent on Russia, and last month the first ever US liquefied natural gas shipment arrived.

Warsaw and three Baltic states have also voiced their opposition to Russia’s plan to build a gas pipeline to Germany.

Central Europeans do not want to extend their dependence on Russian gas, but Berlin supports the project. This has caused tensions between the so-called “old” and “new” EU members.

What about Trump’s speech at Krasinski Square?

After the Three Seas summit, Mr Trump will address crowds at the monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

The president is expected to urge the EU to take inspiration from Poland’s resistance to the Nazis.

He will also set out his vision for America’s future relationship with Europe.

And he will reaffirm US support for Eastern Europe ahead of his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit, the BBC’s James Landau in Warsaw reports.

Last week, Mr Trump’s national security adviser HR McMaster said: “He (President Trump) will lay out a vision not only for America’s future relationship with Europe, but the future of our trans-Atlantic alliance, and what that means for American security and American prosperity.”

But the big question will be how strongly Mr Trump will emphasise America’s commitment to Nato’s mutual defence, our correspondent says.

Mr Trump has once described Nato as an “obsolete” alliance, saying that many members have failed to meet the military spending target of 2% of their gross domestic product.

Nato and Trump: What future for Atlantic alliance?

Tricky G20 summit

Later on Thursday, the US leader will travel to Hamburg for what could be a potentially fractious summit.

He has fallen out with some EU nations over climate change and trade – the issues that are expected to be discussed in Germany.

Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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German police used water canon to disperse anti-G20 protesters in Hamburg on Wednesday

Security has also been beefed up in Hamburg, where thousands of people are planning more protests to disrupt the gathering.

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