AP PHOTOS: A look at past presidential visits to Poland

AP PHOTOS: A look at past presidential visits to Poland

AP PHOTOS: A look at past presidential visits to Poland

VARSIEU, Poland – When President Donald Trump arrived in Warsaw on Wednesday night, he will be the eighth US president to visit Poland, one of the largest US allies in Europe. Here is a story of previous presidential visits:

Richard Nixon arrived in May 1972, finished his speech at the Warsaw airport saying “Niech zyje Polska” (Viva Poland).

Faced with fears that Moscow disapproved of a warm welcome, communist authorities urged people to stay at home, but crowds gathered along the Nixon Road waving with flowers.

The visit paved the way for trade and large loans from the United States to Poland.

Gerald Ford arrived in July 1975 in Warsaw and Krakow. He was greeted by enthusiastic crowds, many of them with their own United States flags, since they were not available in the communist country.

Jimmy Carter visited Poland in December 1977, during one of his first trips abroad as president.

At dinner with communist leader Edward Gierek, Carter proposed a toast to the indomitable spirit and freedom of the Polish people.
It also extended its protocol by making an unexpected visit to the head of great prestige of the Catholic Church in Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, and challenged censorship by holding a live press conference.

George H. W. Bush visited in July 1989, a few weeks after the elections in Poland that led to a peaceful and progressive collapse of communist power. He traveled to Gdansk to meet with Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

In July 1992, Bush returned to Warsaw to attend, with President Walesa, the revolt of Polish politician and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, whose remains were taken from the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC.

Bill Clinton, in Warsaw in July 1994, emphasized that NATO’s expansion to include the new democracies of Eastern Europe “was not if, when and how.” At that time, there was little support for the former communist to invite nations to join the alliance.

Three years later, Clinton made a stop for a day in Warsaw just after a summit of NATO calls in other post-communist Poland and to join. He welcomed the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians as future allies of the United States in NATO have said some very significant words in Polish: “Nic or bez era era” (“Nothing of you without you”).

George W. Bush gave a speech in June 2001 approving Poland’s aspiration to the European Union, which did so in 2004.

In May 2003, he again visited the memorial of the Nazi extermination camp of German Auschwitz and the royal castle of Wawel in Krakow Renaissance.

In June 2007, Bush made a brief stop in the Baltic Sea Jurata complex to hold talks with President Lech Kaczynski on the elements of plans to build a missile defense system in Poland.

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