Sun, 14 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Chancellor Scholz to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican

Update : 02 Mar 2024, 16:16

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet Pope Francis on Saturday at the Vatican for a private audience.

Although the two leaders have met before, this would be their first private face-to-face meeting.

Neither the Chancellory nor the Vatican said what they would discuss, but the situation in the Middle East and Russia's war in Ukraine were likely to come up.

Scholz arrived in Rome on Friday and met Italian President Sergio Mattarella. He will not meet Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is currently visiting the United States. Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the G7 group.

Scholz was scheduled to meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after his meeting at the Vatican. They are both expected to attend the Party of European Socialists (PES) gathering in Rome that comes ahead of June’s European elections.

Scholz and the Pope

The German leader and the Pontiff had spoken by phone before, and they met at the funeral of Benedict XVI in the Vatican.

Although Scholz is non-denominational, more than 20.94 million people — just under a quarter of Germany's population — are registered Catholic church members.

Scholz's predecessor, Angela Merkel, visited Pope Francis five times in the Vatican between 2013, when he took office, and 2021, when she left.

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