Today, 25 January, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr. Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, the good bilateral relations were evoked, and the parties focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favour of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty.
Attention then turned to the importance of preserving the historical presence of Christians in the country, of which they are an integral part, and the significant contribution they bring to the reconstruction of the social fabric, highlighting the need to guarantee their security and a place in the future of Iraq.
Finally, the parties discussed the various conflicts and grave humanitarian crises that afflict the region, underlining the importance of the efforts made with the support of the international community to re-establish trust and peaceful co-existence.
[00117-EN.01] [Original text: Italian - working translation]