Before attending a concert held in his honor, Pope Benedict XVI met privately with the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, in an adjoining room of the Paul VI Audience Hall. President Napolitano was also present at the concert hosted by the Italian Embassy to the Holy See which celebrated the 84thanniversary of the Lateran Accords.
In a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the 20 minute discussion between both parties was “particularly intense, given that it touched upon the approaching end of the president’s seven-year term.” The conversation between Pope Benedict and the President of the Italian Republic reflected on the “great mutual esteem” and “cordial meetings on the part of both sides” during the president’s term in office.
“In the conversation, the Pope expressed his attention on and participation in the important events that are awaiting the Italian people. They also spoke about major themes of the international situation, particularly the concern for peace in the most troubled areas of the world such as the Middle East and Africa,” the communique stated.