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UPDATE: Polish president to visit Rome on Monday

31.03.2023 12:30
Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit Rome on Monday to attend a ceremony in which a symbolic Flame of Peace will be handed over to Poland as it prepares to host the 2023 European Games, an aide has said.
Andrzej Duda
Andrzej DudaKancelaria Prezydenta

Duda's one-day trip to Rome will focus on the European Games, a major international sports event that Poland will be hosting later this year, according to Marcin Przydacz, the Polish president's top foreign policy advisor. 

"On Monday, an important ceremony will take place in Rome during which the symbolic flame will be handed over to Poland as it prepares to host the Games," Przydacz said on Friday, revealing more details of the planned trip.

He told reporters that the president and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda would be accompanied to Rome by the Polish sports minister and officials from the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOl).

Kraków and 10 other southern Polish cities are preparing to host the 2023 European Games, one of the continent's biggest sporting events this year.

The 3rd European Games, to be held from June 21 to July 2, will feature 12 days of competition in 29 sports, and more than 7,000 athletes from 48 countries are expected to take part.

Tribute to John Paul II

During his visit to Rome, Duda is also expected to pay tribute to John Paul II, the late Polish-born pope, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, according to Przydacz.

"On April 3, the president will travel to Italy, to Rome, where the first item on his itinerary will be a visit to St. Peter's Basilica, which holds the grave of John Paul II," Przydacz told reporters on Thursday.

He added that the trip would be "a symbolic gesture to pay respects" to the former pope.

Sunday, April 2, will mark 18 years since Pope John Paul II died after a pontificate lasting more than 26 years.

John Paul II served as pope from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005. He was the third longest-serving pontiff in history and was declared a saint in 2014.

Pope John Paul II, pictured in January 2004. Pope John Paul II, pictured in January 2004. Photo: PAP/EPA (MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI)

John Paul II visited 129 countries during his long pontificate and was a strong supporter of Poland's anti-communist Solidarity movement. He is recognised as a key influence in helping to end communist rule in Poland in 1989.

Polish lawmakers this month adopted a resolution to condemn a "disgraceful media smear campaign against St. John Paul II," and called the late pope “the greatest Pole in history.”


Source: IAR, PAP, ie2023.pl