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Pope Francis, St Peter's Square © L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis, St Peter's Square ©Vatican Media

Pope Receives President of Benin

Development, Fight Against Poverty, Interreligious Dialogue Discussed

Pope Francis met with President of Benin, Mr. Patrice Talon, this morning.

According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office this morning noting their discussions were cordial, it stressed that the parties evoked the good existing relations between the Holy See and Benin, further strengthened by the bilateral Accord signed in Cotonou on Oct. 21, 2016.

“The positive contribution of the Catholic Church in Beninese society, especially in the fields of education, healthcare and human development,” it said, was highlighted.

The parties, it noted, focused on the socio-economic situation of the country, with particular reference to matters of common interest such as development, the fight against poverty, reforms in process in the country and the importance of interreligious dialogue.

Attention turned to various themes of an international nature, with particular reference to the challenges that currently affect the region. Moreover, they recalled the important role played by the international community “in promoting peaceful coexistence and national reconciliation.”

After meeting with the Pope, the president met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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