Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili visited the Holy See on June 18, where she held an audience with Pope Francis. According to the President’s Press Office, President Zurabishvili discussed with Pope Francis the beginning of a new phase of bilateral relations between Tbilisi and the Vatican City, which includes closer ties in culture, education, and science.
President Zurabishvili also informed Pope Francis about the socio-political situation in Georgia, including the severe humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. The President also discussed the situation in the South Caucasus and Georgia’s role in the mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, noting that without dialogue, “it is impossible to overcome conflicts and deescalate the situation.”
“The President gifted to His Holiness a manuscript of the 12th century hymn “Thou Art a Vineyard” (written by King Demetrius I) dedicated to Pope Francis, a book on Georgian culture, a book on Georgian churches in the occupied territories, a selection of Georgian wines from all around the country, and handed over a gift from His Holiness Ilia II,” the President’s Press Office concluded.