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President of Malta meets Pope Francis to discuss about migration and interfaith


On Thursday, the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, met with Pope Francis. It was her final official meeting with him, before the end of her presidency.

 “I have a great privilege as a Catholic to be here with you.”

One of the issues they discussed was the migration phenomenon. Last January, Pope Francis appealed to the EU for concrete solidarity in welcoming migrants.

This is was during an incident where Malta at first refused two migrant ships from docking in their ports.

According to the President of Malta, the EU member states need to work together and support one another in helping to address migration.

MARIE-LOUISE COLEIRO PRECA
President of Malta

“We need solidarity. We need all member states to be sharing this humanitarian crisis.”

She also calls for sustainable investment in countries where migrants are leaving; and for the international community to take more action against climate change to help limit migration.

Pope Francis and the President of Malta also discussed the importance of youth and inter-religious dialogue. The pope even presented her with the document he signed during his visit in United Arab Emirates: Human Fraternity for World peace and Living Together.

POPE FRANCIS
This is the document of Abu Dhabi.

MARIE-LOUISE COLEIRO PRECA
President of Malta
Which is so important.

During her time as President, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has established a number of entities such as “The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.” Its aim is to create a safe space for dialogue on social well-being, that work toward enhancing human relationships.

MARIE-LOUISE COLEIRO PRECA
President of Malta
“It is to create opportunities for active citizenship and to understand what healthy and positive relationships are all about.” FLASH

“Last February, during the World Faith Harmony week, we have managed to come together and sign the very first interfaith declaration together. [It was] all the faith traditions in Malta.”

During the presentation of gifts, the president gave this wooden icon of St. Peter and St. Paul to Pope Francis. This was to show how St. Paul had brought the faith to Malta and the country's connection to the Vatican.

The pope also presented, along with his encyclicals and apostolic exhortations, this olive statue as a sign of peace.

For the president it was an emotional farewell. Pope Francis had this to say as she finally left the Apostolic Palace.

POPE FRANCIS
“Thank you very much. What you do is an example. God bless you and pray for me a little, a little.”

After her time as president, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca will continue her work in the social sector and promoting the aims of “The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.”