Polish President Andrzej Duda attended the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of joining NATO by Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, taking place in Prague.
“We are proud to be members of the North-Atlantic Alliance, which ensures the security of our part of Europe and the world, and allows us to guarantee safety for those who want to live in free, democratic, sovereign countries,” President Duda said. He added that Poland learns from history and treats its membership obligations very seriously.
“The threats that enslaved us for more than 40 years return nowadays, in another guise, but undoubtedly return,” the president said. “Is our readiness necessary, when we are a part of the free world, not only mentally... but also politically and geopolitically? Should we respond to these threats? Yes, we should,” he stressed.
“We believe in an alliance that is the greatest military alliance in the world, and in which brotherhood means brotherhood, support means support, article 5 means article 5, not the ‘brotherly help’ about which here in Prague I do not have to remind anyone,” the Polish president said. He referred to the invasion of Warsaw Pact forces on Czechoslovakia during the period of “Prague Spring” in 1968.
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The event in the capital of Czech Republic is attended by the Presidents of Poland, the Czech Republic (Miloš Zeman), Hungary (János Áder) and Slovakia (Andrej Kiska).
On March 12, 1999, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO as the first three former members of the Warsaw Pact.
Slovakia was accepted to the alliance five years later, along with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia.