11:30 GMT +316 October 2018
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    US soldiers stand on May 26, 2010 in front of a Patriot missile battery at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag

    Warsaw Prepared to Pay for Construction of 'Fort Trump' in Poland – Duda

    © AFP 2018 / Wojtek Radwanski
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    Earlier, the Polish president attempted to entice Trump with a proposal to build a new permanent American base in Poland with the US president's name on it. Trump confirmed that Washington was looking at the proposal "very seriously."

    Polish President Andrzej Duda has confirmed his country's willingness to pay part of the hefty cost associated with the construction of a new US base on Poland's soil.

    Speaking to TVP Polonia, Duda said that while "the cost of deploying such a base would be very large," Warsaw was ready to "undertake and finance preparatory activities, and the costs of preparing a place where the Americans could be stationed," with Washington expected to pick up the cost of the base's contents.

    "We have long said that we are ready … to assume the financial obligations to prepare such place," Duda reiterated.

    The Polish president's remarks come following Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaschak's announcement that his country was ready to spend up to $2 billion on the deployment of a new US military base in the country.

    "I hope that such a base will appear," Duda stressed, emphasizing that it would be in the interests of both Poland and the United States.

    During talks with President Trump in Washington on Tuesday, Duda is believed to have discussed the expansion of US-Polish military cooperation, as conducted negotiations on the possibility of the supply of more US arms to the country.

    Trump seemed to favor the base idea, saying that the US was willing to "certainly talk about [it]," given Warsaw's willingness to pay. "The [Polish] president offered us much more than $2 billion … so we're looking at it," he said, speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with Duda.

    Secretary of Defense James Mattis said there were still "many" questions surrounding the possible new base and said that the Pentagon was studying the proposal.

    Earlier, Polish officials said that a new permanent US base in the Eastern European country would send a "message" to Moscow about Washington's readiness to defend its Eastern European ally. Moscow has repeatedly denied that it has any aggressive intentions toward the NATO alliance and complained about the NATO buildup along Russia's western borders.

    The US deployment in Poland already includes a tank brigade, a US Air Force detachment consisting of five F-22 Raptors, and a missile defense complex, currently under construction. 

    Last week, US Army Europe announced that it would be expanding its presence in Germany by 1,500 troops, adding to the 33,000 servicemen already stationed in the country.

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    Tags:
    base, support, NATO, Andrzej Duda, Donald Trump, Poland, United States
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