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Polish President Wants More NATO Troops In Eastern Europe

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called on NATO to deploy "substantial" numbers of troops and equipment in Eastern Europe to safeguard Poland and the region from a more aggressive Russia.

"The point is that NATO troops are deployed and are visible," Duda said during a visit to the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on January 18.

Poland will host NATO's next summit in July and Duda was clear in his hope that alliance leaders will decide at that meeting on a long-term stationing of NATO troops in his country.

He said he wants NATO to make its presence "as permanent as possible" in Poland.

Duda would not cite numbers as to what size of force he wanted in Poland but said it should be big enough to "ensure the security of [NATO's] eastern flank."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that Poland would not be disappointed by the results of the summit.

"NATO now has a persistent military presence in the region of which Poland is a part," Stoltenberg said. "And I trust that after the Warsaw summit we will see more NATO in Poland than ever before."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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