Pope Benedict XVI welcomed president Branko Crvenkovski of the Republic of Macedonia to the Vatican this week.
President Crvenkovski expressed gratitude for the Holy See's attention to his country since the time of their independence. He also underscored the good relationship enjoyed between both parties, and said this relationshiop is highlighted by Macedonia's annual delegation to Rome.
The Vatican has been a strong supporter of Macedonia's push toward becoming part of the European Uni-on and NATO. President Crvenkovski has said that he remains committed to promoting religious freedom in his country.
While Catholics are a minority among Macedonia's population, more than 60 percent of the country's population is Orthodox Christian, and tensions between the Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox churches are still common.