On the second day of his state visit to Ireland, the President of Malta, Dr George Vella, has been to Cork with President Michael D Higgins.

Dr Vella visited the University College Cork's Honan Chapel and, on World Book Day, attended a presentation on the Great Book of Ireland and the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Earlier, Dr Vella and President Higgins paid a courtesy call to Cork City Hall, where they were met by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Damian Boylan.

During a bilateral meeting yesterday, the two heads of state discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and likely developments in the coming year; food security following President Higgins' recent attendance at the Dakar II summit in Senegal in January; climate change and the need to restore its centrality to the agenda.

Speaking last night at a state dinner for President Vella, Prsident Higgins said: "Occasions such as your State Visit represent an opportunity to celebrate all that our two countries share, our mutual interests and values, those ties we have worked together to establish, sometimes over many centuries, and to discuss challenges that we both face, with others, in contemporary times, further strengthening our shared relationship as island nations which, while far apart geographically, remain close in experience."

President Vella is accompanied on the state visit by his wife, Miriam.