Belgrade Welcomes Vatican Official on 3-Day Visit

BELGRADE, FEB. 18, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican secretary for relations with states began a three-day official visit to Serbia and Montenegro at the invitation of Foreign Affairs Minister Goran Svilanovic.

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Promotion of Belgrade-Vatican relations was the main topic during a two-hour meeting between Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran and Svilanovic, the Tanjug agency reported today.

“The further promotion of relations with the Holy See is an important contribution to support our European policy and the policy which leads toward the stabilization of peace and the overall progress of the Balkan nations,” said a statement from the ministry of Serbia and Montenegro.

“We cannot be happy without one another and, much less so, against one another at this time of grave international crises,” Archbishop Tauran said, according to the statement.

“Let us be like brothers,” he said. This is “the message that the Holy see addresses to the peoples of this part of the Balkans.”

Archbishop Tauran said he will attend meetings Wednesday to promote “concrete programs of cooperation with our brothers” of the Serbian Orthodox Church. During his visit, he will meet with representatives of the Orthodox patriarchate, which earlier this month sent a delegation to the Vatican to meet the Pope.

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