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Friday, October 19, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Immediately afterwards, the illustrious guest met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.; also present at the meeting were Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, Bernard Kamillius Membe, Tanzanian minister for foreign affairs, and Ali Siwa, ad interim charge d'affaires at the Tanzanian embassy to the Holy See.

  "In the course of the discussions, having recalled the role that for many years Tanzania has played in the pacification of the Great Lakes region of Africa, attention turned to relations between State and Church, ever marked by mutual respect and esteem, and to the contribution Catholics make to the progress of the Tanzanian people, especially in the fields of education, healthcare and other forms of social work.

  "Other areas of common interest were examined, such as the importance of peaceful coexistence and collaboration between believers in all religions, in particular between Christians and Muslims, For its part, the Holy See reiterated the commitment of the Catholic Church and her institutions to work for an integral and harmonious development of all the Tanzanian people."

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