Baku, February 10, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.
Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher extended the greetings of Pope Francis and Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to President Ilham Aliyev.
Saying this is his first visit to Azerbaijan, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher thanked the head of state for the high hospitality shown to them.
Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher noted that he is well aware of Azerbaijan and expressed his pleasure with his visit to the country. He described this as an interesting fact to see development in Azerbaijan.
Hailing the promotion of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Church's Apostolic Prefecture in Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete to the bishop's rank under the order of Pope Francis, Archbishop Gallagher described this as manifestation of the importance the Pope attaches to the Catholic community in Azerbaijan and relations with the country.
President Ilham Aliyev described Pope Francis' visit to Azerbaijan two years ago as an historic event, saying he bears warm memories about the trip. The head of state also recalled his official visit to the Vatican, and hailed the importance of the meetings he held with Pope Francis and Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. The President described this kind of high-level reciprocal visits as an indicative of close relations between Azerbaijan and the Vatican.
President Ilham Aliyev expressed his hope that the visit of Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher to Azerbaijan will be fruitful, saying he is confident that the trip will contribute to the strengthening of current partnership between the two states.
Azerbaijan's great contribution to inter-religious and intercultural dialogue as an exemplary multicultural and tolerant country was pointed out at the meeting.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked for the greetings of Pope Francis and Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and asked the Archbishop to extend his greetings to the Pope and the Vatican Secretary of State.
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