By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis and France’s President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Sunday, according to a press release from the President’s Office at Élysée Palace.
The call, which was requested by the Pope, marks the fifth time the two world leaders have spoken since Macron’s election in 2017.
Their conversation reportedly lasted around 40 minutes, and came after President Macron sent the Pope a message on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of his election to the papacy.
The last time they spoke was October 30th of last year, after the attacks on the Cathedral of Nice, which killed 3 people.
Iraq visit ‘a turning point’
The Élysée press office said that during their Sunday conversation the two spoke at length about Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Journey to Iraq.
Macron said the visit marked “a true turning point” for the Middle Eastern region.
The pair also dwelt on their “thoughts and concerns” about several crises affecting various parts of the globe.
These included “the expansion of jihadism in Africa—both in the Sahel region and the continent’s east coast”, as well as the critical situation in Lebanon.
According to the Élysée press statement, President Macron also spoke to the Pope about the “challenges of a post-Covid world”.
Pope Francis published a book with British journalist Austen Ivereigh on the subject, in which he said humanity has been given the opportunity to build a better world after the pandemic.
Soon after the start of the pandemic, the Pope set up a special Vatican Covid-19 Commission, to help humanity think about the challenges it faces moving forward.