Immediately upon his arrival, Pope Francis launched his campaign for peace in Georgia. After the official welcome at the airport and private meeting with President Giorgio Margvelashvili, he met with civil and diplomatic authorities.
The pope did not explicitly speak about separatist internal conflicts and continuing tensions between Georgia and Russia, but spoke of the need to learn to overcome differences, both in Georgia and the world,.
'This is all the more necessary in the present historical moment, with no shortage of violent extremism that manipulates and distorts civic and religious principles, and subjugates them to the dark designs of domination and death.'
Pope Francis did not want to overlook refugees, who are the main victims of wars. Georgia has welcomed 200,000 refugees from areas that have self-declared their independence. When making decisions, the pope called on the international community to consider the suffering of real people.
'It is essential to keep before our eyes the suffering of others, in order to proceed with conviction along the path which, though slow and laborious, is also captivating and freeing, and leads us towards peace.'
In Georgia, the pope has two objectives: to promote peace in the region and strengthen ties with the local Orthodox Church. In fact, immediately after this meeting, he headed toward the Patriarchate to meet with its leader, Ilia II.