President Duda visits Pope Francis in the Vatican

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda were received by Pope Francis for a private audience at the Vatican on Friday.

Pope Francis and Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday discussed how every person, in their own way, can act to pursue peace, the president wrote after the meeting on Twitter.

"His Holiness Pope Francis emphasised that the desire for peace lies deep in people's hearts. We talked about how every man, within the limits of his abilities, can strive to act in such a way as to always and everywhere pursue peace. This thought also guides my decisions," Mr Duda wrote after the audience.

Speaking to reporters after the audience, President Duda said that the talks also focused on the future of the EU, the situation of the world's poor, and social and family policy. He added that Pope Francis voiced praise for family policies introduced in Poland in recent years.

Another issue touched on by the president and the Pope concerned the situation in the Middle East, including the fate of the region's Christian communities. He added that the Pope thanked Poland for its aid granted to its partner states in Eastern Europe, as well as to Italy and the Vatican during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Andrzej Duda also met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, with whom he discussed international affairs and the situation in Belarus. After the talks, the Polish President said the Vatican shared Poland's view that democratic aspirations in Belarus had to be supported, and that Belarusians should decide their country's future in free elections.

President Andrzej Duda paid a visit to the Holy See in connection with the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II.