Pope Francis met with President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadéra, this morning.
According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office this morning, the Pope recalled the warm welcome he received during his pastoral journey to that country last November during his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, Nov. 25-30, which also brought him to Kenya and Uganda.
Stating their discussions were cordial, the statement said that the parties evoked the good existing relations between the Holy See and the Central African Republic, strengthened by the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Central African Republic, signed in Bangui on Sept. 6, 2016.
Gratitude, it also noted, was expressed for the particular attention with which the Holy Father and the Catholic Church accompany the life of the country. Attention, it stressed, turned to the national situation, with particular appreciation for the positive efforts made to restore political and institutional stability.
“With reference to the most recent developments and problems in various regions of the country, and the grave humanitarian consequences,” the statement noted, “the Parties expressed their hope for an increasingly fruitful collaboration between the various forces in favor of the common good of the entire nation.”
They recalled moreover 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.
Pope Francis visited the Central African Republic during his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, Nov. 25-30, 2015, which also brought him to Kenya and Uganda.