Kaljulaid and Pope Francis discuss foreign policy

President Kaljulaid meets Pope Francis in the Vatican.
President Kaljulaid meets Pope Francis in the Vatican. Source: SCANPIX/EPA/REMO CASILLI/POOL

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Pope Francis on Thursday where the head of state asked for the Vatican's support while Estonia is a member of the UN Security Council and discussed foreign policy.

"Our topics were perhaps more philosophical from some angles, but on the other hand, we were still talking to him about Russia, Ukraine, climate change - on ordinary topics, one could say," Kaljulaid told ERR. The Pope was interested in what was happening in Ukraine and what the hopes could be for the new President of Ukraine, she said.

"I asked both the Pope and the Foreign Minister for their support for our presidency of the UN Security Council because, traditionally, the Vatican is aware of what is happening in Africa," Kaljulaid added.

She referred to a longer-term meeting between the parties to the Sudanese conflict held in the Vatican at the Pope's initiative last year. "We are the head of the Sudanese Sanctions Committee as a member of our UN Security Council during the period. So we did have that pretty ordinary diplomatic foreign policy contact we discussed," Kaljulaid said.

President Kaljulaid meets Pope Francis in the Vatican. Source: SCANPIX/EPA/REMO CASILLI/POOL

The President also said the Pope well remembered his visit to Estonia last year and listened with interest to Kaljulaid's message from the Estonian Catholic Church.

Kaljulaid also met with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister, during an official visit on Thursday

The meetings in the Vatican will be followed by a working visit by Kaljulaid to Turin, Italy, where she will open an exhibition of artist Konrad Mägi's paintings at the Musei Real Palace.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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