Georgia’s President meets Pope Francis

Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili meets with head of Catholic Church Pope Francis., 10 Apr 2015 - 19:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili is visiting the Vatican City in Rome and has met with Pope Francis, the world leader of the Catholic Church.

The Georgian President and the Pope have discussed the current situation in Georgia and the wider region, and security issues at the meeting in the Vatican today.

A statement issued by the Holy See press office called the discussions "cordial”, and said the two men expressed their appreciation of the development of bilateral relations, and spoke about various themes of mutual interest, with particular reference to the positive contribution of the local Catholic community in the fields of charitable activity and education.

The Vatican announced that the Pontiff’s brief conversation with the Georgian leader focused on Church-state relations and on regional tensions.

The Pope stressed that these tensions should be resolved in accordance with international law, and expressed his support for a peaceful negotiation among the interested parties.

I talked with the Pope about the historical role of Georgia and our unique culture in the contemporary world. We discussed the current situation and the difficulties that follow the Georgian-European choice and the future role Georgia has to play in resolving the problems in the region, which is necessary for the humanity to still exist in peace,” Margvelashvili said.

At the end of the meeting the two sides exchanged gifts. The Georgian President gave the Pope a copy of bas-relief of the Ascension of the Mtskheta Cross Monastery.

On his part, the Pope gifted Margvelashvili a sculpture carved on St. Martin’s stone.