Defence chief says Poland wants permanent NATO, U.S. presence

WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's defence minister says his country wants to have permanent NATO and U.S. troops' presence to ward off security threats.

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Poland's security concerns have been raised by the armed conflict in neighbouring Ukraine and by the role that another neighbour, Russia, has in it.

Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Saturday the goal of Poland's new conservative government is to have a "lasting presence of NATO and American troops and a permanent air defence." Standing alongside U.S. Ambassador Paul W. Jones, Macierewicz said talks are underway concerning the U.S. Patriot system.

Macierewicz spoke following a Polish-U.S. missile defence exercise at a test range in Skwierzyna in western Poland.

Poland hopes a NATO summit it is hosting in July will bring assurances of permanent NATO troops' presence on its territory.



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