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Pope, Merkel meet to talk multilateral relations, climate change


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Vatican City, June 18 (IANS) The Pope and the Chancellor of Germany met at the Vatican to discuss issues such as multilateral relations, the importance of Africa and the Paris climate accord.

Pope Francis I and Angela Merkel on Saturday held a 38-minute talk in which they discussed the need for a multilateral world without walls and the importance of the African continent due to its proximity to Europe, Efe news reported.

According to Merkel, they also broached subjects such as the protection of the environment and the Paris Agreement, while lamenting US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the pact.

The German Chancellor stressed that the Pontiff completely agreed with her on these issues.

In addition, the two dignitaries exchanged views on the defence of international treaties and the upcoming G20 summit that is set to be hosted by the northwestern German city of Hamburg on July 7-8.

Merkel, who arrived at the Vatican accompanied by her spouse Joachim Sauer, was received by the prefect of the Papal Household, German Archbishop Georg Gänswein.

They were then welcomed by Francis I at the private library of the Apostolic Palace.

Merkel, whose father was a Lutheran pastor, had officially met the pope on six previous occasions, while Saturday’s talks constituted her fourth private audience with the current head of the Catholic Church.

Francis expressed his condolences over the death of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who passed away Friday at the age of 87.

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