Vatican City, 13 December 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received Matteo Renzi, prime minister of the Italian Republic, on an official visit. Following the papal audience, Renzi met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.
The discussions took place in a serene and cordial atmosphere. Attention focused on, among other issues, the current context of persistent difficulties of an economic and social nature, with negative consequences especially in relation to youth employment. In addition, the importance of education to promote the future of new generations was emphasised.
Various themes relating to international politics were then considered, and the Parties shared their serious concerns for the gradual worsening of conflicts in the Middle East.
With regard to the term of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, the Parties affirmed the importance of the themes mentioned by the Holy Father during his recent address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. These were held to be fundamental to the harmonious development of European peoples.
Finally, the Parties renewed their commitment to continuing their joint cooperation to resolve various issues of a bilateral nature.