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Pope and Portuguese president discuss migration, the family

17 marzo 2016 | 15.54
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Europe's migrant crisis and the family were at the centre of talks between Pope Francis and Portugal's new president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Vatican on Thursday.

Discussions were "cordial" and covered "the situation in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, especially regarding the question of migration and other issues of international relevance," said a Vatican statement.

After his audience with Francis, 69-year-old de Sousa also met the Vatican's second-in-command, secretary of state Pietro Parolin and Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for relations with states, the statement said.

The statement praised Portugal for the Catholic Church's contribution "to the life of the country, with special reference to the debate in society on the dignity of human life and the family".

It was de Sousa's first visit abroad since he took office on 9 March, the Vatican noted.

The centre-right politician stormed to victory in the first round of presidential polls in January after the surprise formation of a left-wing coalition government following national elections in October.

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