Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Moscow, August 22, 2017

1554-22-08-2017

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Your Eminence,

Esteemed guests,

We are happy to meet with you during your visit to the Russian Federation. It is a good opportunity to carry on the dialogue which we began with Your Eminence in the Vatican in December 2016.

This is the first visit of Vatican’s Secretary of State to Russia in the current century. As you have told me now, this is also your very first visit to Russia. I hope you will be able to see how we live and what Moscow and our other cities, including Sochi, are like.

We are glad that our dialogue is developing dynamically, including at the top level. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has met with His Holiness Pope Francis twice over the past few years.

We see that our positions are close on a number of current issues, including the peaceful settlement of crises, fighting terrorism and extremism, promoting the dialogue among religions and civilisations and strengthening social justice and the role of the family.

We highly appreciate the projects aimed at practical cooperation in the areas of culture, humanitarian ties, science and education, as well as healthcare. We certainly consider it significant that interstate ties are complemented by the dialogue between religions, which was launched during the historical meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis in Cuba in February 2016.

The programme of your visit to Russia is sufficiently extensive to give us time for discussing all aspects of relations between the Russian Federation and the Vatican.

Your Eminence, we are happy to see you. Welcome.

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