Anastasiades Meets with Pope Francis

VATICAN – Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with Pope Francis on Saturday, the Cyprus Mail Reported.

Anastasiades had a 30-minute private audience with the Pope, followed by a longer meeting that included members of the Cyprus delegation, the Mail reported.

The president said the visit was “very important, productive, and constructive,” the Mail reported.

The Vatican issued the following press release about the meeting:

“This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received the President of the Republic of Cyprus, His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, who subsequentlywent on to meet with His Excellency Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

“During the cordial discussions, which highlighted the good relations between the Holy Seeand the Republic of Cyprus, mention was made of several matters of common interest, such as the positive role of religion in society and the protection of the right to religious freedom.Satisfaction was expressed at the resumption of negotiations aiming at the development of a shared solution to the Island’s current situation.

“Finally, the Parties indicated their concern regarding the political instability affecting the region of the Near and Middle East, which leads to great suffering on the part of civilian populations, and shared their hope that the Christian communities in the various countries may continue to offer their contribution to building a future of material and spiritual wellbeing.”