Szczerski: there are two major subjects we have to discuss with Trump
“President Andrzej Duda will have a surprise gift for President Donald Trump, but I can’t reveal what it is today. It should be a nice surprise,” said Krzysztof Szczerski, head of President Andrzej Duda’s political cabinet. In an interview for TVN24’s afternoon program "Fakty po Południu", he talked about the final preparations for Donald Trump’s visit to Poland.
“The U.S. President chose Warsaw to give a speech that will not just be addressed to Poles (…), but in actual fact this will be his first large public appearance on his own initiative, not on the occasion of another event, like a NATO summit,” Szczerski said, adding that Barack Obama’s speech of this type was delivered in Prague. “Donald Trump’s speech will take place here, in Warsaw,” he added.
Szczerski underlined that the location of Krasiński Square was chosen by the American side. “The White House briefing makes it clear that a symbolic location was sought,” he stated, adding that Trump wanted to begin his speech by mentioning the role of Poland and the Polish people, a nation that “fought for liberty even in the most difficult hours of its history.”
The U.S. President chose Warsaw to give a speech that will not just be addressed to Poles (…), but in actual fact this will be his first large public appearance on his own initiative, not on the occasion of another event, like a NATO summit Krzysztof Szczerski
"Two major subjects"
Szczerski said that the last organizational details of the U.S. President’s visit to Warsaw were being finalized, as well as the political content of talks between Trump and Andrzej Duda.
The head of the President’s cabinet said that there were “two major topics” to be discussed. Duda is set to talk to Trump about security, i.e. the presence of American troops in Poland and the anti-rocket shield, but, as Szczerski underlined, the Polish President also wants to discuss future cooperation with the U.S.
Szczerski emphasized that the Polish side expects that Trump will convey the decision to extend the presence of American troops in Poland or make that presence permanent (rather than rotational).
The second important subject, according to Szczerski, is Poland’s energy security. Szczerski said that the authorities wanted to “combine energy security with a good deal.” He informed that LNG deliveries were currently being discussed with several companies, but made it clear that this would have to be “economically profitable.”
Szczerski also pointed out that Trump’s visit to Poland would provide an opportunity to touch upon regional matters under the Three Seas Initiative. He underlined that the Three Seas Initiative was established to promote the business and investment context of the 12 member countries.
Szczerski said that he was happy about Donald Trump’s choice of Poland for his visit rather than London or Paris, which are typically preferred by U.S. presidents. “We are happy, because it means that our work is bringing fruit,” he said.
He continued “This is why we’ve built the instruments for Poland to become an important partner for the United States today. Decisions of the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland’s membership in the U.N. Security Council, the LNG terminal in Świnoujście and openness to pursue energy cooperation, the Three Seas Initiative, i.e. hosting 12 leaders in Poland – all that creates a package, an attractive package, which also shows Poland’s important role in European politics.”
A gift for Donald Trump
In his interview for Fakty po południu afternoon program, Krzysztof Szczerski revealed that President Andrzej Duda had a surprise in store for President Donald Trump. “I can only say one thing: there is an official gift and a surprise one,” he said.
“The president will also have a surprise gift for President Trump, but I can’t reveal what it is today. As soon as the gifts are exchanged, we’ll tell you straight away,” he explained.
He assured that “this should be a nice surprise for President Trump.”
Visa waiver for Poles to be discussed
When asked whether Andrzej Duda would mention the visa waiver for Poles in his one-to-one meeting with Donald Trump, Krzysztof Szczerski said that this matter would be on the table.
“This is a problem for America rather than for Poland. We keep saying that to our U.S. partners. The visa problem currently hurts U.S. interests, economic ones too,” explained the head of Andrzej Duda’s political cabinet.
”More and more countries are opening their borders for the Polish people. We have opportunities to freely shape our businesses. By making it more difficult for Poles to arrive, America is hurting itself today. This is the major argument,” he added.
He recalled that visa-related matters were a very controversial topic in the U.S. “President Trump announced that he would review the visa regime. We are going to argue that this review should be about showing that countries such as Poland may only help fulfill President Trump’s American dream to have good and strong economic ties with allies,” Szczerski assessed.
Duda to talk to Trump about Smoleńsk? “We’ll see”
Szczerski was also asked about whether Andrzej Duda’s conversation with the U.S. President would also include the Smoleńsk plane crash [in which Poland’s President Lech Kaczyński died alongside a number of other high-ranking officials in 2010]. “We’ll see, judging by how the conversation goes. We’re prepared for various subjects,” he said.
Szczerski emphasized the importance of this topic for Poland. “Yet I will only find out about the dynamics of the conversation after Mr. President tells me how it went, as it will genuinely be a one-to-one meeting,” said Szczerski.
The head of the President’s cabinet was also asked about the Polish diaspora in the U.S. He said that during President Trump’s first telephone conversation with President Duda, Trump mentioned this issue. “He made a spontaneous remark about the Polish diaspora out of his own accord. He met with the Polish community during the campaign and mentioned his good business relations,” stressed Szczerski.
“This means that we can also use this factor to foster our good relationship with the current administration, but we’ll also be encouraging the Polish community living in the U.S. to use this time of being in the current administration’s good books to play a more important role in politics and the U.S. economy,” he added.
“We are also going to encourage President Trump to be open to the signals, impulses, advice and initiatives coming from Poles living in the U.S., because this is a strong group both in economic and social terms,” he argued.
According to Szczerski, “in certain states, the election of President Trump could have been decided by the Polish vote. And he’s well aware of that,” he said.
Meeting of the first ladies
As concerns the meeting of first ladies, Agata Kornhauser-Duda and Melania Trump, Szczerski said that both presidential couples would be attending the U.S. President’s speech at the Krasiński Square. When asked about where the first ladies would be seen in addition to that, he answered that this would be announced at a later stage “so that the ladies may enjoy a comfortable conversation.”
With regard to President Duda’s personal relations with Donald Trump, the head of the President’s cabinet said that the “ice had already been broken in Brussels.”
He said that the two presidents were very similar in terms of their most recent political journey, as both had been elected “as if contrary to the polls.”
“We want it to be a beginning. This is a meeting that will decide the shape of this relationship for the years to come,” said Szczerski.
“Our hope is for President Duda to visit Washington next year, and this is why we have to establish certain directions and mechanisms today and encourage the respective Foreign Ministries and governments to continue such talks at the ministerial level. So that we can establish the general direction of U.S.-Polish relations for the foreseeable future,” added Szczerski.
Źródło: tvn24.pl/tłumaczenie Intertext.com.pl