President meets with Pope, discusses EU integration

Jakov Milatović and Pope

President Jakov Milatović of Montenegro engaged in a significant diplomatic encounter as he met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Apostolic Palace on Thursday. This private audience, marked by ceremonial exchanges and discussions, underscored the importance of bilateral relations between Montenegro and the Holy See.

Symbolic gestures

The meeting commenced with the customary protocol of gift exchanges between the Pontiff and the visiting President. These symbolic gestures serve to reinforce the bond between the two parties and reflect the mutual respect and goodwill shared between them. Subsequently, the President and his accompanying delegation posed for a group photograph alongside Pope Francis, capturing the momentous occasion for posterity.

Following the audience with the Pope, President Milatović proceeded to engage in substantive discussions with high-ranking Vatican officials in the Secretariat of State. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, joined the President for deliberations on matters of mutual interest and concern.

Holy See and Montenegro

A statement issued by the Holy See Press Office conveyed the essence of the discussions held during the meeting. Describing the atmosphere as cordial, the statement highlighted the positive rapport between the Holy See and Montenegro. Emphasis was placed on the constructive role played by the local Catholic community within Montenegrin society, underscoring its contributions to the nation’s social fabric.

Additionally, the discussions delved into pertinent issues surrounding the relationship between the Church and the State, addressing unresolved matters and fostering dialogue towards amicable resolutions. The shared commitment to maintaining harmonious relations between religious institutions and governmental authorities was reaffirmed during the course of these deliberations.

EU integration

Beyond matters directly pertaining to Montenegro, the conversation extended to broader geopolitical topics of regional and international significance. President Milatović and Vatican officials explored Montenegro’s progress towards achieving full integration into the European Union, reflecting on the country’s strategic trajectory within the context of broader European dynamics.

Moreover, the ongoing conflicts in regions such as Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine were subjects of deliberation, underscoring the shared concern for peace and stability in volatile regions. The exchange of perspectives on these pressing global issues underscored the commitment of both Montenegro and the Holy See to promoting dialogue and reconciliation on the international stage.

The meeting between President Milatović of Montenegro and Pope Francis epitomized the importance of diplomatic engagement in fostering mutual understanding and cooperation between nations and religious institutions. As Montenegro continues to navigate its path on the global stage, such engagements serve as crucial opportunities to strengthen partnerships and advance shared objectives for peace, justice, and prosperity.