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President Margvelashvili meets with Pope Francis

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, April 15
Within his two-day visit to the Vatican, President Margvelashvili held a meeting with Romeís Pope Francis on April 10.

The face-to-face meeting between the Head of State and His Holiness, was held in the private library of the Pope, the presidentís press-service says.

During the meeting the parties discussed the current situation in Georgia and the region, and the security environment. It was noted that as in the past, the Holy See is still an active supporter of Georgiaís territorial integrity and sovereignty. The importance of peace in Europe and the whole world was emphasized. It was pointed out that in the 21st century, it is unacceptable to have man-made barriers and dividing lines, and the problem of internally displaced people.

Particular attention was paid to the role of Georgia as an ancient Christian state in the modern world.

ďThe President of Georgia had an extremely important meeting with His Holiness. The importance of our country as the most ancient Christian state in the modern world and the significant role that Georgia has had over the centuries as a place of dialogue among civilizations and cultures were particularly highlighted,Ē the Presidentís adviser Tengiz Pkhaladze stated.

After the meeting, the President of Georgia introduced the First Lady and the members of the Georgian Delegation to the Pope, after which, a gift-giving ceremony was held. Giorgi Margvelashvili handed the Pope a copy of the bas-relief of the Ascension of Mtskheta Jvari Monastery, and Pope Francis gave him a sculpture carved from stone of St. Martin, and noted that it is pleasant and symbolic to give this present to the president as a defender of his people.

President Margvelashvili also met with Under-Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, and the representatives of the State Secretary. During the meeting, the parties discussed the importance of raising awareness about Georgia. It was emphasized that it is necessary to support the non-recognition policy in the occupied territories, as well as state sovereignty and territorial integrity on behalf of the international community.

The delegation accompanying the President of Georgia included: Secretary of Georgiaís National Security Council Irina Imerlishvili, Head of the Presidentís Administration Davit Pataraia, Deputy of the Head of the Administration, the presidentís Economic Adviser Giorgi Abashishvili, the presidentís Secretary for Foreign Relations Tengiz Pkhaladze, Head of the Presidentís Protocol Department Karlo Tskitishvili and Head of Administration Public Relations and Communications Department Tinatin Mzhavanadze.