Pope Meets President of Republic of Georgia

Discussed Tensions in Region, Expressed Hope for Solution

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This morning, Pope Francis received the President of the Republic of Georgia, marking the first time any of Georgia’s leaders, president or prime minister, has met with the Argentine Pontiff.

According to a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father received in audience President Giorgi Margvelashvili. In addition to discussing the region’s difficulties, they spoke on how the Church is helping.

«The cordial discussions,» the statement noted, «enabled appreciation of the development of bilateral relations and further consideration of various themes of mutual interest, with particular reference to the positive contribution of the local Catholic community in the fields of charitable activity and education.»

Attention then turned, it continued, to concerns regarding the tensions that affect the region, «and, with emphasis on the importance of full respect for international law, the hope was expressed that every solution may be sought through peaceful negotiation between the interested parties.»

The statement also said, mention was made of «what has recently been achieved by Georgia regarding its own role in Europe.»

After meeting with Pope Francis, President Margvelashvili subsequently met with Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States, at the Secretariat of State.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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