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    President Duda’s Stirring Speech: Reflecting on Poland’s 25 Years in NATO and the Journey Beyond the Iron Curtain

    In a poignant speech commemorating Poland’s 25 years as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), President Andrzej Duda emphasized the significance of unity and unwavering commitment to security. Speaking from the heart, Duda addressed the nation, reflecting on the journey from the Cold War era to the present day.

    “Twenty-five years ago, the dream of generations of Poles came true. On March 12, 1999, in Independence, Missouri, Poland, along with the Czech Republic and Hungary, was officially admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO expanded to the East,” said Duda. 

    “Our countries, which just a decade earlier were within the Soviet sphere of influence, fully joined the free West. It marked the true end of the Cold War, the ultimate fall of the Iron Curtain. It was an incredibly brave, historic decision,”

    President Duda remarked, setting the tone for the commemoration.

    Acknowledging the hurdles faced in gaining acceptance from the Western world, Duda underscored the monumental efforts of Polish politicians, diplomats, and military personnel, along with representatives of the Polish diaspora, particularly in the United States.

    “The idea of Poland’s presence in NATO was excluded from a political dispute from the very beginning in our country. Enjoying widespread support from the right, through the centre to the left. Poland’s accession to the Alliance is one of the greatest achievements in our recent history. The highest recognition and eternal memory are due to all those who contributed to the realization of this great task. Thanks to this, our Homeland is safe today, and Poland’s NATO membership is a symbol of our national unity,”

    he emphasized, highlighting the unity that brought the nation into the fold of NATO.

    Reflecting on the pivotal role played by the United States in facilitating Poland’s NATO membership, irrespective of political affiliations, Duda stressed the enduring nature of Polish-American strategic cooperation. Ahead of the 25th anniversary and his visit to the White House, he convened a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss key security issues with representatives of all political forces in Poland.

    “Poles have consistently demonstrated their commitment to NATO through substantial defence spending and active military participation alongside our allies, particularly in confronting Russian aggression,” President Duda reiterated, highlighting Poland’s robust defence investment, which stands at over 4 percent of GDP, the highest proportion within NATO.

    Addressing the evolving security landscape, particularly in light of the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s imperial ambitions, Duda called for bold and unified action within NATO. He advocated for increased defence spending across all member states to three percent of GDP, stressing the need for collective responsibility in ensuring the Alliance’s strength and resilience.

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