Vatican official voices support for Georgia and its integrity

Secretary for Relations with States of the Vatican Archbishop Dominique Mamberti and Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, 15 Sep 2014 - 16:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has been invited to visit Georgia as Georgian leaders look to intensify ties between the two nations.

The Georgian Government extended the invitation to a Vatican official who is on official duties in Tbilisi to discuss Georgia-Vatican relations.

Secretary for Relations with States of the Vatican Archbishop Dominique Mamberti has met Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili and Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze within his three-day official visit.

"We will be glad to host his Holiness Pope Francis in Georgia,” Prime Minister Garibashvili told the Archbishop at their meeting at the Government Administration today.

One of the main topics of the separate meetings between the Georgian leaders and the Vatican representative was strengthening bilateral relations in cultural-economic and education spheres between the two countries.

Prime Minister Garibashvili and President Margvelashvili both thanked Archbishop Mamberti for the Vatican’s support towards Georgia’s territorial integrity and non-recognition policy of Georgia’s occupied regions.

The Archbishop, on his part, pointed out the Vatican highly appreciated the friendly relations it had with Georgia and would continue to support the country.

At the meetings, Georgian ancient traditions and historic tolerance of the Georgian nation was emphasized by the Italian guest.

"Georgia has a special place in the Christian world. The Georgian church is one of the ancient among Christian churches," the Archbishop said.

Foreign Minister Panjikidze said Georgia respected the Vatican as a promoter of world peace and humanism.

Tomorrow, on the Archbishop’s last day in Georgia, the official was scheduled to travel to Khurvaleti village to better learn about the situation near the administrative line of Georgia and its breakaway Tskhinvali region.