Polish presidential couple arrives in Italy

Piotr Nowak/PAP

President Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda on Tuesday afternoon arrived in Italy for a three-day visit, marking Duda's first foreign trip after his re-election in July.

The Polish president had earlier announced that his first foreign trip after re-election would be to Italy and the Vatican.

On Wednesday morning, the Polish president will visit the Spallanzani Institute, an infectious diseases research centre which also conducts research into a vaccine against the coronavirus. Duda is to oversee the signing of an agreement between the Italian institute and the Polish National Public Health Institute.

Later on Wednesday, Duda will meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, as well as PM Giuseppe Conte and Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati.

According to Duda's chief aide Krzysztof Szczerski, the political talks will concern the future of European policy, including a recovery package for the battered EU economy and security issues, including NATO priorities.

The Polish president is also scheduled to visit the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN body, and will attend a ceremony of hoisting the national flag of Poland, a new member of the organisation.

On Thursday, the president will visit the Polish World War Two cemetery in Monte Cassino.

On Friday, the Polish head of state will pay a visit to the Vatican to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Polish-born Pope John Paul II. He and his wife will be received by Pope Francis.