On Monday morning, 24 October, the Holy Father received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, H.E. Mr Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by H.E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.
During the cordial discussions, which took place in the Secretariat of State, appreciation was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations and the intention to develop further collaboration in sectors of mutual interest, including the reception of refugees.
In addition, mention was made of the process of reunification of the island and the situation in the western Mediterranean and the entire region, in the hope that ongoing problems may be addressed through dialogue.
Exchange of gifts
The Pope gave Mr Anastasiades an icon of Jesus the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and the smell of His flock. The Holy Father also presented Mr Anastasiades with a collection of papal documents.
In return, the Cypriot President gave the Pope a silver cup, modelled after those used in Cyprus in ancient times.