Andrzej Duda and Sergio Mattarella met on Thursday evening in Rome’s The Quirinal Palace, Polish state news agency reported.
‘Very important talks’
The main topic of the talks was the granting of EU candidate status to Ukraine, officials told reporters.
Before meeting Mattarella, Duda said their discussion would be “very important.”
“I travel not only to persuade foreign leaders, but also so that they in turn persuade others,” the Polish president stated.
He added: “I want Italy to become involved in convincing our colleagues in the EU to agree to grant Ukraine candidate status.”
‘Ukraine wants to be part of European community’
Duda stressed that “the Ukrainians are fighting, they don’t want to be part of Russia’s sphere of influence.”
“They want to be part of the European community,” the Polish president said.
So far, the presidents of ten eastern European countries have come out in favour of Ukraine's swift entry to the EU.
These countries are: Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Mattarella said last month that almost all of the heavyweight EU members, apart from Italy, were voicing objections to granting Ukraine candidate status.
Duda’s Rome visit was the second stop on his three-day tour of southern Europe. On Wednesday, he discussed Ukraine’s EU bid with Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Braga.
B9 summit in Bucharest
On Friday, Poland’s head of state is set to attend a summit of the Bucharest Nine (B9) countries in the Romanian capital. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will also take part in the meeting.
The B9 brings together countries lying on the eastern flank of NATO: Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.
Friday is day 107 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, prezydent.pl