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President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda June 12, receiving another central European nationalist at the White House less than a month after sitting down with Hungary’s authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
"The visit will reaffirm the longstanding historical and cultural ties between the United States and Poland, particularly in light of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II later this year," the White House said in a statement. "The two countries will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Poland’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism."
Duda has faced international criticism for his the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s clashes with the European Union over changes made to the country’s judicial system, which it says are needed to root out the vestiges of communism. Critics see it as an attempt to the courts under tighter political control, and both the EU and the Council of Europe have warned that many of the government’s measures violate Poland’s constitution.
Trump paid a July 2017 visit to Warsaw, where he delivered a nationalistic speech celebrating "civilization" and urging nations to defend their "culture, faith, and tradition."
The White House said the two leaders will discuss defense, security, energy and trade matters, according to a Wednesday White House statement.
Orbán, who this week became the first Hungarian prime minister to meet with a U.S. president since 2005, has been denounced for limiting press freedom, undermining judicial independence, targeting independent nongovernmental groups, and encouraging racist and anti-Semitic conspiracies.
Orbán is “probably like me," Trump said during their joint appearance at the White House with the visiting Hungarian prime minister. "A little bit controversial, but that’s OK … you’ve done a good job, and you’ve kept your country safe," he said, while declaring that Orbán — one of the EU’s most controversial leaders — "has done a tremendous job" and is “respected all over Europe.”
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine