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Thursday, July 6, 2017


The US president, Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda, the Polish president

The US president, Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda, the Polish president

Donald Trump has warned that the West must decide if it has the “will to survive” in the face of threats from North Korea and Russia at a speech in Warsaw on Thursday. 

"We have to remember that our defense is not just a community of money, it is a community of will," Mr. Trump said.

"As the Polish experience reminds us, defense of the West rests not only on means but the will of people to prevail. 

"The fundamental question is whether the West has the will to survive," he added.

"Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?" If we do not have strong values we will be weak and we will not survive."

Europe-US bond is stronger than ever

"The transatlantic bond between the United States and Europe is as strong as ever, and maybe in many ways, even stronger," said Mr. Trump as he extolled the virtues of the Polish people. 

In a lengthy speech which recounted Poland's struggles under Nazi occupation and Communism, Mr. Trump said the European country was a powerful "symbol of freedom."

His remarks came despite a string of spats with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, over her refugee policy and the trade deficit with Germany. 

'Our enemies are doomed'

"If left unchecked these forces will weaken our will to defend ourselves," Mr. Trump said in reference to threats from Russia and North Korea, which earlier this week test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. 

"We know these forces are doomed to fail if we want them to fail and we do indeed want them to fail. They are doomed because our alliance is strong and our power is unmatched," he said. 

"Our adversaries are doomed because we will never forget who we are," added Mr. Trump, alluding to the US and the European allies' joint efforts against Nazism and later Soviet rule.

Get going on spending obligations, Nato allies told

It comes after Mr. Trump gave a joint press conference on Thursday morning in which he said it was time for all Nato countries to "get going" on their financial obligations during a speech in Warsaw.

In the same speech, he sought to reassure eastern European nations such as Poland by vowing to tackle Russia's "destabilizing" behavior.

He also said he would confront the threat of North Korea, which test-launched an inter-continental ballistic missile as part of its nuclear weapons program early this week, "very strongly."

Other countries must also make a stand to North Korea to show there are consequences for "bad behavior," he added. 

Excerpts of the speech showed Mr. Trump also planned to say that "the Polish experience reminds us - the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail," Trump will say, according to excerpts.

"The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive."

Russia 'could have' interfered with election

Mr. Trump admitted that Russia may have interfered in the US election while taking questions from the media. 

"I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries," he said. 

US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the November presidential election to Mr. Trump's favor, including by hacking into and leaking the emails of senior Democrats.

Moscow has always denied the allegation.

Poland: This trip shows our country matters

Donald Trump's high-stakes trip to Europe, where he faces a prickly G20 meeting and animosity from traditional US allies, kicked off on a comforting note Thursday - in front of a friendly crowd bussed in by his sympathetic Polish hosts.

Air Force One touched down in Warsaw late Wednesday, for what is the US president's second foreign outing after a European tour in May that exposed fierce mistrust.

"This is the second foreign visit by President Trump and it starts in Poland. This shows we are a country that matters and it strengthens our position in the European Union," said Polish President Andrzej Duda, who will meet the US leader today. 

The US president's four-day swing starts in Warsaw, where he will deliver a major speech, before moving on to the northern German city of Hamburg for his first G20 summit, where tricky geopolitical currents - from rumbling transatlantic discord to increasingly difficult ties with China - will converge.

Looming large over the entire visit is Pyongyang's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could deliver a nuclear payload to Alaska.

Tough-talking Trump had previously vowed North Korea would not be allowed to possess an ICBM, and leaders from rival and allied powers alike will be watching closely to see whether his threats were bluster or will crystallize into action.

After repeatedly urging Beijing to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea, Trump will hold what promises to be a testy meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg to trace the next steps.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" Trump tweeted indignantly on Wednesday.

The US will sell Patriot missiles to Poland

It came as the US agreed to sell Patriot missile defense systems to Poland in a memorandum signed on Wednesday night, Poland's Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said.

"A memorandum was signed tonight that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration," Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on public television on Thursday morning.

"I am glad that I can pass on this information on the day of President's Trump visit to Warsaw," Macierewicz also said.

Source: The Telegraph-  By James Rothwell and Matthew Day 


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