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Poland celebrates 20 years of NATO membership

Warsaw: Polish President Andrzej Duda and Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak have kick-started a series of events marking the 20th anniversary of Poland’s NATO membership.

“It’s a great joy to be a part of this most important military alliance in the world and at the same time part of the free world,” Duda said on Monday in the city of Zagan, where he visited Polish and American troops located in the country, Xinhua reported.

Poland officially joined NATO in 1999.

In 2016, during a NATO summit in Warsaw, it was decided that NATO troops as well as command structures of both NATO and the US army would be located in Poland.

The Polish military is an important contributor to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) on the eastern and southern flank and to NATO’s tailored Forward Presence (tFP).

Poland plays a special role in the eFP initiative: it is one of the host countries, it delegates troops to one of the eFP groups, and it hosts a multinational division headquarters in the city of Elblag, which has the task of coordinating the activities of all eFP groups.