City (AsiaNews) - The "steps taken to favour socio-economic development, and
reconciliation among the communities hit by the long internal conflict which has
affected" Sri Lanka, and the hope that "a global joint solution may soon be
found corresponding to the legitimate expectations of all the parties involved"
dominated this morning's meeting between Benedict XVI and President Mahinda
Sri Lankan president was accompanied by his wife, a Catholic, and a delegation of
eight men and two women, including the minister and deputy minister of foreign affairs,
the governor of the central bank and a former justice minister.
Rajapaksa gave the pope a silver vase as well as one in terracotta containing
Sri Lankan spices. The pope gave the president a glazed piece of pottery and
the copy of a 17th century etching showing St Peter's Square.
press release by the Vatican Information Office described as cordial the
discussions Rajapaksa had with Benedict XVI and Dominique Mamberti, secretary
for Relations with States.
the tête-à-têtes, emphasis was given to "how the Catholic Church-which makes an
important contribution to the life of the country with her religious witness
and educational, healthcare and social assistance activities-will continue to
commit herself to the common good, reciprocal understanding and the integral
development of all citizens."