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NATO summit to raise military presence in Poland, region

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and Polish President Andrzej Duda pose for a photo prior to a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 30, 2016. Stoltenberg came to Poland for a two-day visit ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw in July. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
May 30, 2016 - 1:04 PM

WARSAW, Poland - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in Poland and in the region, but decisions as to the number still haven't been finalized.

Stoltenberg spoke in Warsaw, which will host a July 8-9 NATO summit that will give security guarantees that Poland and other nations on the alliance's eastern flank have been seeking, concerned about a resurgent Russia.

He said that several battalions will be placed in Poland, the Baltic States and elsewhere in the region that will raise NATO presence in troops, equipment, prepositioning and infrastructure. The U.S. will be adding an armoured brigade.

Stoltenberg said the exact numbers and locations of the enhanced NATO troop presence are still being debated and the decisions will be made before the summit. It will be a rotational, international presence, he said.

"So let me be clear: there will be more NATO troops in Poland after the Warsaw Summit, to send a clear signal that an attack on Poland will be considered an attack on the whole alliance," Stoltenberg said after meeting Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Duda stressed that it's crucial for the summit to show that NATO is united and shows internal solidarity in the face of threats from the East and South.

Both leaders said the summit will also decide on ways of helping build stability in partner nations like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in the east and Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia in the south.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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