Pope Receives President of Sri Lanka

Expresses Hope That Forthcoming Papal Visit Will Encourage Work for Common Good, Justice and Peace

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Pope Francis today received in audience the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

During the “cordial discussions,” the Vatican said the two leaders “focused on the country’s current situation, with particular reference to signs of social and economic improvement, and conveyed their hope that solutions corresponding to the legitimate expectations of all citizens may be found.”

“In this context,” the statement continued, “the Parties expressed their hope that the Holy Father’s upcoming visit to Sri Lanka may be welcomed as a sign of closeness to the Sri Lankan population and may encourage those who work for the common good, reconciliation, justice and peace.”

The Holy Father is due to visit the island nation 12-15 January. He will then fly on to the Philippines from 15 to 19 January.

After the meeting, President Rajapaksa met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

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