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During his visit to Warsaw, U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Poland to strengthen democracy.

Obama said on July 8 that he shared his "concerns about certain actions and the impasse around Poland's constitutional tribunal" with President Andrzej Duda ahead of the opening of a NATO summit in the Polish capital.

He also said the ruling conservatives had taken some steps to address U.S. and European concerns but “more needs to be done."

The "rule of law, independent judiciaries and a free press," distinguishes democracies, Obama added.

Duda did not respond.

Critics say changes to Poland’s media law and the constitutional tribunal undermine democratic standards and are part of a broader push to seize more control over state institutions, charges the ruling Law and Justice party denies.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters