Pope receives Albanian prime minister Edi Rama in audience
Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office
On the morning of Saturday, 27 November 2021, the Holy Father Francis received the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Mr. Edi Rama, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial talks highlighted the good relations existing between the Holy See and Albania and discussed topics of common interest concerning relations between the ecclesial and civil communities, the contribution of the Church to the common good of Albanian society, migration and peace.
The main regional issues were also discussed, including the situation in the Western Balkans and the progress of Albania and other countries towards full integration into the European Union.
(Working translation of the original text in Italian)
Exchange of gifts
Following their discussions, both leaders offered a traditional exchange of gifts. Pope Francis presented Prime Minister Rama with a bronze bas-relief of Noah. He also gave him papal documents, including this year's message for the World Day of Peace on the theme "A culture of care as a path to peace", the document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, and the volume Statio Orbis of 27 March 2020 recalling the extraordinary moment of prayer during the pandemic lockdown in Italy.
Prime Minister Edi Rama offered Pope Francis an icon of the "Madonna dell'Avvento" (Our Lady of Advent) and an icon of Saint Francis. He also presented him with two paintings and a letter from Fr. Gjergj Fishta, an Albanian Franciscan who was a poet, philosopher, and considered one of the most influential Albanian writers of the 20th century.