VATICAN – Pope Francis received Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in an audience in the Vatican where they said they were delighted about good relations between the country and the Holy See.
They also talked about the possibility of further collaboration on areas of mutual concern, such as the reception of refugees and discussed the dilemma of Cyprus’ failed reunification, some 48 years after Turkish invasions seized the northern third of the island, said Vatican News.
Following his meeting with the Pope, Anastasiades met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.
The Pope gave Anastasiades an icon of “Jesus the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and the smell of His flock,” telling the President that he chose the gift because “you know your people with your heart, you are close to the people.”
The Holy Father also presented Anastasiades with a collection of papal documents. In return, the Cypriot President gave the Pope a silver cup, modeled after those used in Cyprus in ancient times.