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Thursday, September 19, 2013


Vatican City, 19 September 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francesco received in audience the prime minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the course of the colloquial discussions, the parties acknowledged the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania, and focused in particular on the contribution offered throughout the centuries by the Catholic Church in educational and social fields, as well as her commitment to the support of families and to improving awareness of spiritual values.

In view of the fact that the Republic of Lithuania currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the discussions turned to various international and European matters of mutual interest. Special mention was made of the need to ensure peace in the Middle East and in particular in Syria, favouring a political solution to the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.

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