U.N. Official Sends Greetings to John Paul II

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The president of the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations extended “cordial greetings and best wishes” to John Paul II, the Vatican said.

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Jean Ping, who is also Gabon’s foreign minister, paid a visit today to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, and to Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states. Gabon’s ambassador to the Holy See, Desiré Koumba, also attended.

“During the course of the discussions, the prospects for reform of the U.N., currently at an advanced stage of preparation, were examined, as was the still-worrying situation of various African countries, with particular reference to the work of the African Union,” Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls reported in a statement.

“Attention was also given to certain aspects concerning the collaboration between Church and state in Gabon, where a 1997 framework agreement between the Holy See and the Gabonese republic is in force,” concluded the statement.

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