The Vatican supports the peace efforts on the island, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See said on Wednesday.
Gallagher met in Nicosia with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and discussed an array of issues and policies, which the latter said were “of ecumenical significance”.
Gallagher said his presence in Cyprus was an indication of the excellent relations between the two sides. “I have been already a witness of the great spirit of cooperation and tolerance which exists between the various components of society here. We obviously support all efforts to bring greater peace, security and to resolve pending problems here within Cyprus,” he said.
He also noted that Pope Francis always encouraged what he calls a “culture of encounter”, enabling people to face up to problems and to work together to find solutions.
According to the Vatican representative there were many opportunities for cooperation between the Holy See and the Catholic Church in general, and Cyprus, now and in the future.
Kasoulides said they discussed issues pertaining to the protection of human rights and the rights of minorities, particularly Christian minorities in the Middle East.
He referred to the protection of global religious heritage and noted Cyprus` efforts in this respect. A relevant resolution has been adopted unanimously by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and Kasoulides informed the Vatican official of Nicosia’s intended course of action during the Cyprus chairmanship of the Council of Europe, due to begin later in November.
The two sides discussed migration and the need to respect the human rights of those forced flee hostilities. “As true Christians we must show a compassionate and humane attitude in dealing with these matters,” said Kasoulides.
The two men also discussed developments in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq as well as the fate of Christians in Mosul.