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Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili visits the Vatican, meets with Pope

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, June 21
During her official visit to the Vatican, the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili held a meeting with Pope Francis.

According to the Georgian president, a new phase of cooperation with the Vatican begins with the visit. The meeting highlighted the deepening of relations between the states. As it was noted during the meeting, it is of great importance for Georgia to deepen and strengthen relations with the Vatican in the field of Georgian culture, education, as well as science.

During the meeting with the Pope, the Georgian president talked about the ongoing events in the region, the general situation, as well as Georgia's role in the developments in the region. The meeting also touched upon the importance of Georgian mediation in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The President of Georgia also noted that without dialogue, overcoming any conflict is impossible.

Zourabichvili also discussed the situation in Georgia's occupied territories and talked about the severe humanitarian situation near the occupation line. While discussing the problems facing Georgia, Zourabichvili also discussed the Georgian Orthodox Churches and their situation in the occupied regions. She also underlined the meeting held in the Vatican and how it can help further develop the relations between the states.

The President of Georgia spoke with the Pope on climate change and environmental issues, emphasizing the role of small countries and the importance of strengthening them.

Also, according to the Administration of the President of Georgia, during her visit, a memorandum of cooperation between the states was signed for the first time.

The memorandums of cooperation in the field of culture and education were signed by the President of the Vatican Catholic Education Congregation, Cardinal Giuseppe Versailles, and the President of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

From the Georgian side, the memorandum was signed by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Nunu Mitskevich, and the First Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia, Kakha Sikharulidze.

According to Zourabichvili, education and culture are very important and priority directions for the future development of Georgia.

According to the administration, the President of Georgia came up with several initiatives during the meeting, including the establishment of the Georgia-Vatican Permanent Scientific Council, which translates old Georgian Christian literature. Georgian president started her visit on June 16.