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Pope, German President stress need to welcome migrants

Vatican City, Oct 9 (IANS/AKI) The integration of migrants and the need for solidarity towards those who flee conflict, persecution and poverty in their homelands was at the centre of talks between Pope Francis and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Vatican on Monday, the Holy See said.

The “cordial” meeting between Pope Francis and Steinmeier examined “the economic and religious situation in Europe and in the world, with particular reference to the phenomenon of migrations and to the promotion of a culture of acceptance and solidarity”, the Vatican said.

Discussions between the two men also addressed “questions of mutual interest, such as the economic and religious situation in Europe and in the world,” the statement said, without providing details.

The statement praised the “good” relations and “fruitful collaboration” between the Holy See and Germany and between the Catholic Church and German institutions.

Appreciation was also expressed during the meeting for “the positive interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, especially between Catholics and Protestants in the fifth centenary of the Lutheran Reformation,” the Vatican said.

After his papal audience, Steinmeier met the Vatican’s second-in-command, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican secretary for relations with states, the Holy See said.

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