NATO Secretary General meets Pope Francis

  • 13 Oct. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 13 Oct. 2016 15:35

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was received in private audience by His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday (13 October 2016). The Secretary General and His Holiness discussed global issues of common concern, including the conflicts in Syria and the wider Middle East, the importance of protecting civilian populations from suffering, and the importance of dialogue in international affairs to reduce tensions. The Secretary General also stressed that climate change could pose a significant security risk.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with His Holiness Pope Francis

© L'Osservatore Romano

"I am honoured to have met His Holiness. His wisdom and vision for a just and more peaceful world, as well as his appeal for dialogue and cooperation, should inspire us all. Especially in these times of increased tension," the Secretary General said after the meeting.

Mr Stoltenberg also met with His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See.

The Secretary General is in Rome with the North Atlantic Council and the NATO Military Committee to mark the 65th anniversary of the NATO Defense College. During his visit, Mr Stoltenberg will meet with President Sergio Mattarella, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti.