Trump, Polish president meet in New York over Ukraine war

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*Former President Donald Trump stands with Polish President Andrzej Duda at Trump Tower on April 17, 2024 in New York City. Trump met with President Duda, a strong supporter of Ukraine, as European and NATO leaders prepare for the possibility that Trump wins the November presidential election and returns to the White House. Photo credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump and Polish President, Andrzej Duda discussed the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East over dinner Wednesday in New York, the former US president’s reelection campaign said.

Real estate magnate Trump, on a one-day break from court appearances in his hush money criminal trial, hosted Duda at his Trump Tower property in Manhattan.

“He’s done a fantastic job and he’s my friend, and we had four great years together” when the two were president at the same time, Trump said, standing alongside Duda in a video clip posted on Trump’s Truth Social account.

“We may have to do it again.”

The Trump campaign said the two men discussed Duda’s proposal for NATO countries to increase their target for defence spending from two per cent of GDP to three per cent.

Trump has often criticized NATO and said its members do not pay what he calls their fair share.

“They also discussed the war between Russia and Ukraine, the conflict with Israel in the Middle East, and many other topics having to do with getting to world peace,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.

When not tied up in legal proceedings, the Republican White House candidate has been conducting a kind of shadow diplomacy, as other countries prepare for the possibility of a second Trump presidency.

He has been taking meetings with global leaders and lashing out against the foreign policy of his November opponent, President Joe Biden.

Trump discussed NATO policy and the Ukraine war with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron last week, and entertained Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at his Florida residence Mar-a-Lago last month.

Duda and Trump were close allies during the 77-year-old’s previous Oval Office tenure, with Poland prioritizing its relationship with the United States — sometimes to the detriment of its ties with the European Union.

Conservative Duda even proposed building a “Fort Trump” US military base on Polish soil.

Amid Trump’s false assertions questioning his own 2020 election loss, Duda took more than a month to congratulate Biden on his presidential win.

AFP