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'We waited for decades': Polish govt welcomes US troops

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Posted at 10:14 AM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 12:14:28-05

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Polish leaders are holding a ceremony to welcome U.S. troops to their country, a deployment that Russia calls a threat to its own security.

The ceremony Saturday in the western Polish town of Zagan comes 23 years after the last Soviet troops left Poland. It also marks a new historic moment -- the first time any Western forces are being deployed on a continuous basis to NATO's eastern flank.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo stood before U.S. and Polish soldiers and called it "an important day for Poland, for Europe, for our common defense."

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the troops that "we waited for you for a very long time, for decades."

The government organized several other events across the country to welcome the Americans from Fort Carson, Colorado.

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