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Pope calls on Haitian president to continue political dialogue
Published on February 26, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Joseph Guyler Delva and Yves Paul Leandre

VATICAN CITY (HCNN) -- Pope Francis urged on Monday Haitian President Michel Martelly to continue efforts to rebuild the country devastated by a 2010 deadly earthquake and called on him to pursue the open discussion with the various institutional forces in order to facilitate reconciliation and the realization of common good.

The pope, who on Monday received the head of state of Haiti at the Vatican for 20 minutes, gave the assurance that the Catholic Church will continue to help rebuild the country and to stimulate internal dialogue under the mediation of the country's Episcopal Conference, in an attempt to avoid a serious political crisis in Haiti.

"The parties stressed the imperative necessity to continue to rebuild the country and to encourage the dialogue between the different forces in favor of reconciliation and the public good," read a statement issued by Vatican after the meeting.

"These warm exchanges allowed the parties to congratulate each other on excellent relationship, but also highlighted the important contribution that the local church provides to Haiti in the areas of education, health and social assistance,” said the press release.

Martelly was at the Vatican mainly to attend the induction ceremony of the first Cardinal of Haitian nationality, Monsignor Chibly Langlois.

Martelly has recently launched a political dialogue under the mediation of the Catholic Church represented by Cardinal Langlois. These talks, through which political actors seek to find a consensus on the holding of crucial legislative and local elections, will resume in Haiti, likely in the coming days.

"I give you, Mr President, the guarantee that the Catholic Church will assist you in the dialogue process launched over a month ago," assured the pope during his face-to-face audience with Martelly.

The meeting, which took place in the presence of the president of the Haitian Senate, Simon Dieuseul Desras, was an opportunity for Pope Francis to express his commitment to helping Haiti overcome its problems.

"Pope Francis has shared with us his feelings, his love for Haiti and the church's efforts to help the country get out of the difficult situation," said Desras.

Pope Francis organized Saturday a celebration with the 19 new cardinals, from different countries, appointed in January. The pope was scheduled to welcome family members of each cardinal on Tuesday.

Cardinal Langlois will take part in a series of working sessions this week in Rome. He is expected to return to Port-au-Prince on February 28, when scores of Catholics plan to welcome him back at the capital's Toussaint Louverture International Airport.
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