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President of Central African Republic thanks pope for new pediatric hospital

Pope Francis held this meeting with Faustin Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic since 2016. 

The president spent a few minutes in private with the pope. Before that, he met with Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin and Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

During this visit, he thanked the pope for the Vatican's initiative to open a pediatric hospital in Bangui, which was inaugurated on March 2.

The need for peace in the Central African Republic was discussed. They have been suffering from a bloody war since 2013 involving militiamen from different parts of Africa. A month ago a ceremony took place in Bangui. After which peace agreements were signed between the government and the armed groups fighting in the country. The armed groups control 80 percent of its territory.

Before concluding his meeting, the pope gifted the president the main documents of his pontificate and also the document that he signed in Abu Dhabi with the Imam of Al Azhar on human fraternity.

The Central African Republic is special for Pope Francis, who visited this country in 2015. He embarked on his trip despite several countries asking him not to go to this war-torn place since it endangered his own security.