Cypriot President’s visit to Pope Francis and invitation for a return Pontifical visit

An invitation to Pope Francis to visit Cyprus, which was accepted and will be settled next year, was addressed today by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who paid an official visit to the Holy See.

Accompanied by his wife Andri Anastasiades and members of the Cypriot delegation, President Anastasiades arrived this morning at the Vatican, where he was formally welcomed.

He had a brief meeting with Pope Francis and then the Pope accepted the members of the Cypriot delegation in the presence of President Anastasiades.

Later, Anastasiades had a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and then with the Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, Archbishop Paul Reichard Gallacher.

Following his visit to the Vatican, the President of the Republic stated that he discussed the Cyprus dispute at the meeting with the Pope.

“The Pontiff is very interested not only to hear but to know and understand the difficulties caused by Turkey’s invasion and occupation, as well as her illegal actions.

At the end of the meeting, the President and the Pope exchanged commemorative gifts. The President of Cyprus presented Pope Francis with a silver Smoking Censer and an ointment jar (“Kapnistomerrecha”) and a book entitled “Multi-religious Cyprus”, while Pope Francis presented President Anastasiades with a copperplate copy of the Basilica of Saint Peter of 1545 A.D. and the encyclical on the protection of the environment.

President Anastasiades wrote on a tweet after his meeting with the Pope: “I am deeply grateful for today’s meeting with AA. Pope Francis. Spreading his word on issues that are at the forefront of developments around the world inspires political leaders to protect human life and dignity.”

Source: Orthodox Times