Duda's Italian visit to show solidarity in fight against pandemic - aide

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

One of the purposes of Polish President Adndrzej Duda's three-day visit to Italy, due to begin on Tuesday, is to show European solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the President Office's head Krzysztof Szczerski said on Monday.

He told a public radio broadcaster that Duda's visit to Italy and the Vatican has "three major elements" namely Polish-Italian political relations, talks about the future of the EU budget and migration policy as well as the pandemic situation.

According to Szczerski, the Polish president is to meet with chief doctors dealing with the coronavirus in Italy and sign an agreement on Polish-Italian cooperation in combating COVID-19.

The presidential minister noted that Duda will be one of the first European politicians to visit Rome between the vacation period and the next wave of the pandemic. "We must consolidate as part of European solidarity also in the fight against the pandemic," he said.

While in Italy, the Polish president will visit Monte Cassino, the site of a 1944 battle in which Polish forces, under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders, played a key role.

He is also due to meet with Pope Francis in the Vatican.