VATICAN: Pope meets Zambian President, Calls for Peace

VATICAN CITY FEBRUARY 9, 2016(CISA) – Pope Francis on Friday February 5 met President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace where he lauded Zambia’s commitment to bring peace.

The Holy Father held a closed-door meeting with President Lungu that lasted almost 25 minutes.

The Zambian President arrived shortly after 10.30 hours to the Vatican accompanied by his wife, Esther Lungu, reported Vatican Radio.  Also, with the President was Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Harry Kalaba, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Muyeba Chikonde who is also accredited to the Holy See.

After the meeting, later the Vatican Press Office released a statement saying that the discussions were cordial and about the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Zambia.

The two leaders, according to the statement, also discussed the contribution of the Catholic Church in Zambia through involvement in the educational, social and healthcare institutions, as well as the Church’s collaboration in combating poverty and social inequality and the promotion of peaceful social and religious co-existence through a culture of dialogue and encounter.

The statement further said attention then turned to themes of common interest, including migration, climate change and the protection of the environment.

Finally, Pope Francis and President Lungu discussed the international situation, with the focus on conflicts that affect various areas of Africa as well as Zambia’s commitment to peace.

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