Pope Francis meets with President of Cyprus
By Joseph Tulloch
Pope Francis on Monday morning received Mr Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, in an audience in the Vatican.
The pair expressed their gratitude for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and Cyprus, and discussed the possibility of further collaboration on areas of mutual concern, such as the reception of refugees.
Also on the agenda were the reunification of Cyprus and the situation of the Mediterranean region more broadly, according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office.
Following his meeting with the Pope, Mr Anastasiades met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.
Exchange of gifts
The Pope gave Mr 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 Mr Anastasiades with a collection of papal documents.
In return, the Cypriot President gave the Pope a silver cup, modelled after those used in Cyprus in ancient times.
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