Pope to Receive Former Iranian President

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 16, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will receive in audience the former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami.

The director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed Saturday that the former president will visit the Vatican on May 4.

The politician from Tehran will be in Rome to participate in the meeting “Intercultural Dialogue: A Challenge for Peace.” The event is organized by the Anastasis Association, an international association for Christian art and intercultural dialogue, and in collaboration with the Pontifical Gregorian University and Iran’s Embassy to the Holy See.

Khatami, a strong promoter of Benedict XVI’s visit to Turkey last November, saw the trip as an opportunity to promote dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

Khatami served two terms as president, spanning the years 1997 to 2005. He is also the president of the Foundation for the Dialogue Between Civilizations.

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