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Rome Reports

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Colombian President and pope discuss Venezuelan migration crisis and peace process

“Holy Father. It is a great honor to meet you.”

The president of Colombia met with Pope Francis for the first time since he took office in August.

The meeting lasted almost 30 minutes in a tone that was cordial and relaxed. Pope Francis received this T-shirt from James Rodriguez, coffee from Colombia, an image of the Blessed Mother and a book from the Shrine of Chiquinquirá. He also received an unusual gift. 

“A hammock made by Colombian artisans.”

“For when you want to have a nap.”

The president was accompanied by his wife and the official delegation. After his meeting with Pope Francis and the Vatican Secretary of State, he explained to the media the topics they discussed.

National unity was a priority. However, the president insisted that he will negotiate with the ELN (National Liberation Army) only if the hostages are released and they lay down their weapons. 

President of Colombia
“We are going to work with the authorities to find out what happened and ensure that the perpetrators are punished in an exemplary manner.”

Pope Francis and the president of Colombia discussed the crisis in Venezuela. The pope thanked him for his attention to emigrants. Iván Duque hopes that other States will support him to put an end to President Maduro's leadership. 

President of Colombia
“I believe that if another government unites with us, we will be able to quickly conduct an international investigation; and condemn the despicable behavior of the Venezuelan dictatorship.”

They also examined issues such as youth, corruption and drug trafficking. 

Pope Francis has closely followed Colombia's peace process. In addition to meeting with presidents and former presidents, he visited the country in September 2017.

He will meet with Iván Duque again at WYD in Panama, during his meeting with heads of state of the region.