Pontiff Receives Montenegro's Prime Minister

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Peace and interreligious dialogue were two of the topics addressed by Benedict XVI upon receiving in audience the prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanović.

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A communiqué published by the Vatican press office revealed that the two held «cordial discussions,» and that «a fruitful exchange of opinions took place on questions concerning current international affairs, as well as on the situation in the region and on the main challenges it is facing.»

«The positive contribution made to Montenegrin society by the significant Catholic minority was also highlighted,» the Vatican added. Other topics addressed included Montenegro’s «commitment to promoting peace and harmony among the different peoples and religious confessions present in the country.»

The prime minister also met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.

Montenegro became an independent state in 2006, separating itself from Serbia. The two had formed a state in 1992 after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

There are 672,180 inhabitants in Montenegro, of which 74.2% are Orthodox, 17.7% are Muslim and 3.5% are Catholic.

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