Pope Francis has met the President of the Central African Republic (CAR), Faustin Archange Touadéra, at the Vatican.
During the meeting, which took place on Monday, the Pontiff recalled the warm welcome he received during his visit to CAR in November.
After the meeting a statement released by the Vatican’s press office said that the talks noted how the recent electoral process and institutional reforms in CAR are taking place in a constructive manner, supported by dialogue between different faith communities.
“The hope was expressed that this may mark the beginning of a time of peace and prosperity for the entire nation,” the statement said.
However, it added that “the consequences of the conflicts of recent years continue to weigh upon the population” and during the talks the important role of the international community in supporting the development of the country was emphasised.
The discussions also covered “the good bilateral relations between the Holy See and CAR” and “appreciation was expressed for the contribution that the work the Church and her pastors bring to society, especially in the fields of education and healthcare, and also with a view to reconciliation and national reconstruction.”
During his time at the Vatican, President Touadéra also met Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.