Visit of the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin to the Vatican
In the framework of the visit Minister Klimkin had meetings with the Secretary of State of the Holy See (Head of Government) Pietro Parolin and with the Secretary for Relations with States (Minister for foreign affairs) Paul Gallagher. During his stay in Vatican Minister also participated in audience with Pope Francis.
In audience with His Holiness Minister Klimkin expressed hope that one day we Ukrainians will certainly have an opportunity to welcome the Pontiff on our land. Pavlo Klimkin also gave Pope Francis as a present the drawing by children from Ukrainian orphanage with their call to the Pope to pray for Ukraine.
During the meetings with the Holy See officials special attention was paid to the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine. In this regard the Minister expressed his gratitude for the humanitarian assistance that «Caritas Internationalis» (the Holy See institution) provides for those in need in Donbas and internally displaced persons through "Caritas Ukraine".
Conversations focused on the recent events in Eastern Ukraine. Klimkin informed the Vatican side on the results of the recent Eastern Partnership summit in Riga and on the latest developments in Donbas as well as on the measures taken by the Ukrainian side in the context of the peaceful settlement of the conflict. In this regard, Minister Klimkin expressed gratitude to the Holy See for support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and called on the Vatican side to provide assistance to the process of peaceful settlement in the region.
The parties touched upon the issue of involvement of the so-called church diplomacy to ensure social harmony and to end confrontation in Ukraine, in particular, with reference to the inauguration of the Public Council on cooperation with religious organizations under the MFA of Ukraine that will serve as a basis for cooperation between the church and the state.
Pavlo Klimkin also visited the “Saint Sophia” Association, where he had meetings with the Head of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), those in charge of the Association as well as with Ukrainian community representatives, including youth, and gave interviews to the Vatican Radio and to the popular newspaper "La Croix".