Speaker Xhaferi has audience with Pope Francis on Ss.Cyril and Methodius Day
Vatican, 24 May 2023 (MIA) - On occasion of the Day of Pan-Slavic Educators Ss.Cyril and Methodius, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi had Wednesday an audience with Pope Francis, at which he expressed hope that North Macedonia would soon start the EU accession negotiations.
"The screening process is ongoing and we are heading for constitutional changes that require a two-thirds majority. Unfortunately, we have been waiting for a long time in front of EU's doors and this has weakened the citizens' support for Union integration. Nevertheless, we will not give up on reaching this strategic objective," said Speaker Xhaferi.
Xhaferi reiterated North Macedonia's support to Ukraine and condemned the unjust and unprovoked Russian aggression.
The Speaker referred to the cooperation between North Macedonia and the Holy See, saying both countries have unbreakable historic ties based on common historic, cultural and religious traditions.
"There is broad potential for enhancement of this partnership, both in bilateral and international terms, especially through the National and University Library "St.Clement of Ohrid" in Skopje and the Vatican Library, the countries' archives, as well as by signing a bilateral agreement in the field of university education," said Xhaferi.
He added that North Macedonia is a multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional country with a long tradition of interreligious tolerance and fostering of confessional freedoms, whereas religious communities and groups enjoy a high degree of mutual cooperation.
On his part, Pope Francis highlighted the importance of unity in the efforts to bring Europe together.
Speaker Xhaferi also met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and Secretary for Relations with States Paul Gallagher, referring to the importance of dynamizing bilateral cooperation between North Macedonia and the Holy See.
"I believe diplomatic ties, which mark their 30th anniversary in 2024, would further intensify if an apostolic nunciature opened in North Macedonia," said Xhaferi.
After the meetings, the Parliament delegation is set to attend a service in the San Clemente basilica.
Photo: Facebook of Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi