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Rome Reports

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The Prime Minister of East Timor meets with Pope Francis

Pope Francis met with the Prime Minister of East Timor in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, just after 9:30 am.  Rui Maria de Araujo was punctual at the meeting. with the Pope. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes. The Prime Minister explained to the Pope that since the country's independence with Australia, both are in disputes about establishing maritime borders. During the gift-giving, the Pope made reference to that dispute by showing him the peace medallion, a symbol of overcoming differences. "I think about what you say of maritime borders.â? The Prime Minister handed him some handcrafted ornaments made from his country. East Timor along with the Philippines, is one of the countries with the largest Catholic population in Southeast Asia. More than 95 percent of its inhabitants are Catholic. The Prime Minister visited the Vatican to ratify the agreement the two states signed in 2015, which recognizes the juridical personality of the Church and its institutions in their territory. JRB/YA CTV VM -BN Up:AC