On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finished his four-nation tour of Europe, signing a new defense pact in Poland that will increase the number of U.S. troops stationed in the eastern European country.
About 4,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Poland currently and the new agreement will see that number rise to at least 5,500.
“Today, my Administration signed a historic Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Republic of Poland,” President Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “This agreement is the culmination of months of negotiations with our Polish allies following the two joint declarations I signed with President Duda last year.”
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 15, 2020
Trump added that the increased American military presence in Poland will “further strengthen NATO deterrence, bolster European security, and help ensure democracy, freedom, and sovereignty.” The pact, which was agreed upon last month, was signed by Pompeo and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in Warsaw.
Pompeo also met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday, with the two discussing the coronavirus pandemic, next-generation mobile networks and an agreement between the two countries to cooperate for the development of a civil nuclear power program in Poland, Reuters reported, citing a State Department spokeswoman.
The signing of the defense pact comes after Trump decided to pull 12,000 troops out of Germany, arguing the European power wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. Some of the troops will relocate to Poland under the new deal while others will be redeployed in other parts of Europe, with more than half returning to the U.S.
Pompeo’s other stops on his trip included the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austria.