PM Modi meets Pope Francis
PM Narendra Modi meets Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Pope Francis on Saturday received Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades.

In June 2000, late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee last visited the Vatican and met the then Pope, John Paul II.

India and The Holy See have friendly relations dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948.

India is home to the second-largest Catholic population in Asia.

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During Saturday’s meeting, the two leaders discussed the Covid19 pandemic and its consequences for people across the world, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

They also discussed the challenge posed by climate change.

PM Modi briefed the Pope about the ambitious initiatives taken by India in combating climate change as well as India’s success in administering one billion Covid19 vaccination doses.

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The Pope appreciated India’s assistance to countries in need during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure, the PMO informed.

“Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India,” PM Modi tweeted.

Prime Minister also met Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the statement said.

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