Polish president welcomes Slovak counterpart in Warsaw

Piotr Nowak/PAP

President Andrzej Duda welcomed recently-elected Slovak counterpart Zuzana Caputova at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw today at 10 am.

This is Caputova's first visit to Poland as Slovak president and her fourth official visit in this capacity after Prague, Budapest and Brussels.

"Like President Caputova's predecessor, Andrej Kiska, the new president chose Poland as the goal of one of his first official foreign visits, a signal that she assigns a high significance to relations with Poland and is interested in their further development," the head of the President's Office, Krzysztof Szczerski, told PAP.

After an official welcome on the Presidential palace courtyard, Caputova and Duda will hold face-to-face talks on European affairs and the new EC as well as regional cooperation, followed by Polish-Slovak plenary talks chaired by both heads of state. After the talks, the two presidents will speak with the media.

"Presidents Andrzej Duda and Zuzana Caputova will talk primarily on topics related to European politics and contemporary problems of the European Union, especially in the context of the recent elections to the European Parliament and the formation of the new European Commission," the presidential minister told PAP.

Duda and Czaputowa will also discuss topics related to bilateral relations, regional cooperation within the Visegrad Group, the Three-Sea Initiative that brings together twelve countries situated between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas as well as NATO's eastern flank.

Szczerski added that among the topics of the Duda-Caputova talks will be the expansion of transport infrastructure on the North-South axis, "which is the basis for the development of Polish-Slovak economic relations, which the presidents want to support."

In the afternoon, Caputova is scheduled to meet Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

During a visit to Budapest on Thursday, the new president of Slovakia appealed to the countries of the Visegrad (V4) Group (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary) to protect the rule of law, so that they would not be seen as "weakening the European Union." Caputova said after meeting with Hungarian President Janos Ader that cooperation between the V4 countries should be based on shared values and not limited to the protection of regional values.

Caputova, 45, a lawyer and civil rights expert by profession, won the Slovak presidency in a second-round vote in March against her main rival, Maros Sefcovic.