President Sergio Mattarella in Poland on state visit

Italian President Sergio Mattarella's arrival in Poland

 WARSAW - Italian President Sergio Mattarella was welcomed at the Presidential Palace in the Polish capital by Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata on his state visit. Making statements to the press, they both addressed topics including immigration and the Russia-Ukraine War. On Tuesday he is expected in Krakow from where he will travel to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, according to state officials.

 After the playing of national anthems and military honours, the two presidents held bilateral talks. After the talks, Mattarella said in statements to the press "The issue of migrants requires that it be tackled as a problem of the Union: no state alone can tackle such an epochal problem but the EU can do it with coordinated and well-organized action". On the topic of immigration the Polish President then added, "Today the EU is faced with the problem of illegal migrations, not only to the extent seen in recent years. We can talk about mass migrations. We know that Italy is making a huge effort to deal with migration from North Africa but we too have this problem. Immigration by the Belarusian regime has become a kind of hybrid attack."

Both Presidents condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine - stating that they were "on the same page." "We are horrified by some inhuman behaviors that are used by the Russian armed forces, hitting civilian targets and infrastructures, in a way that makes the aggression even more cruel," Mattarella said again.

 President Mattarella is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Edmondo Cirielli. In the evening President Duda will host the Italian delegation for a state dinner at the presidential palace. Yesterday, Mattarella met with representatives of the Italian community, NATO and Italian officials from Frontex and Odihr.

 On Tuesday morning, the president will meet Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the Chancellery building, then he will go to the Parliament building where he will be welcomed by Sejm Speaker Elzabieta Witek. Shortly afterwards he will meet Marshal of the Senate Tomasz Grodzi at the wing of the palace where the Senate is located.

 Later in the day, Mattarella is expected in Krakow from where he will travel to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, which he will visit together with Italian students and Holocaust survivors Andra and Tatiana Bucci.  

 On Wednesday, Mattarella will give a speech at the Jagiellonian University. Afterwards, he will visit the Collegium Maius museum, before leaving for Bratislava where he will begin his official visit to Slovakia.