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Pope Francis and President Barham Salih of Iraq in the Vatican on January 25, 2020. Pope Francis and President Barham Salih of Iraq in the Vatican on January 25, 2020.   (Vatican Media)

Pope meets Iraqi president

Pope Francis met President Barham Salih of Iraq in the Vatican, Saturday morning, the Holy See Press Office said in a statement. Later, the president also held a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

“During the cordial talks,” the Vatican Press Office said, “the good bilateral relations were evoked, and the parties focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favour of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty.” 

They also talked about “the importance of preserving the historical presence of Christians in the country, of which they are an integral part, and the significant contribution they bring to the reconstruction of the social fabric, highlighting the need to guarantee their security and a place in the future of Iraq”. 

“Finally, the parties discussed the various conflicts and grave humanitarian crises that afflict the region, underlining the importance of the efforts made with the support of the international community to re-establish trust and peaceful co-existence.”

25 January 2020, 13:33