Polish president visits Chicago, meets with Emanuel, Rauner

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The president of Poland is visiting Illinois as part of a two-day visit here. (WLS)

The president of Poland is visiting Illinois as part of a two-day visit here that comes on the heels of Governor Bruce Rauner's trade mission there last month.

With the Chicagoland area home to more than a million Polish Americans, President Andrzej Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser Duda paid a visit to the Katyn Memorial in the St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles. There, they laid a wreath in honor of the 20,000 Polish soldiers killed by the Soviet Union in 1940.

The day started with a meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner at the Polish Consulate in Chicago. The governor said the two delegations talked again about bringing businesses to Illinois, but he also announced new venture under consideration a Polish Trade and Investment office.

"We have been working with them for weeks on this, we had a lengthy discussion about this today and very productive and very positive," said Governor Bruce Rauner. He added believes Chicago would be the perfect place for a trade office and he hoped to be able to announce something soon.

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The president of Poland visited Chicago Friday.



Later Duda toured parts of the Art Institute. This is not his first visit to Chicago, but it is as president of Poland. One Polish-American woman who said read about the visit in a Polish newspaper came to the Art Institute, even buying a gift she hoped to give to the first lady.

"I see he changed so many things for good for Poland, so I'm so proud of him coming here," said Bozyslawa Andersohn.

Afterward Duda joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a private lunch with civic and business leaders

"Very happy and very glad to come and visit your town as the president of Poland to meet the Polish society in Chicago and Illinois," President Duda said.

"I look forward to this exchange to not only build commercial tires but also to strengthen our cultural ties and our deep commitment to a shared set of values about respect for our diversity," said Mayor Emanuel.

Duda's visit was also to include a ride in an Illinois National Guard Blackhawk helicopter to the Armory in Kankakee. Many parts for the Blackhawks are manufactured in Illinois and Poland is considering a large purchase of helicopters. The Illinois National Guard has had a cooperative relationship with the Polish military for 25 years.

Chicago is home to 1.1 million Polish people, the largest Polish population in the world outside of Warsaw.
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politicsrahm emanuelBruce RaunerChicagoChicagoGold Coast
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