Immigration, the relocation of refugees from Cyprus to the Vatican, Missing Persons, Trafficking in human beings, human rights, developments in the Cyprus issue, climate change, as well as regional issues are expected to dominate the agenda of Pope Francis‘ contacts with the political and state leadership of Cyprus, where he will touch down today.

The plane carrying the Pontiff is expected to land at Larnaca International Airport at 15.00 in the afternoon. The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Annita Dimitriou and the members of the Cypriot Council of Ministers will receive the Pope, who one hour later (at 16.00) will have a meeting with clergy, faithful, ecclesiastical associations and movements, at the Maronite Cathedral of the Virgin of Grace in Nicosia, where he will deliver an Address.

At 17.15, his welcoming ceremony will take place at the Presidential Palace of Nicosia, with the honors of a Head of State, while at 17.30, his meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis, will begin, as broadcast by APE-MPE. At 18.00 the Pope (according to Jorge Mario Bergoglio) will meet with representatives of the KD authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps, while then he and President Anastasiadis will address the Presidential Palace.

At 20.30 the Presidency of the Republic will host a dinner for the Papal Delegation at the Presidential Palace.

“Important event of international scope”

An important international event of global interest is the visit of the 84-year-old Pope to Cyprus noted Deputy Government Spokeswoman Niovi Parisinou, who in a written statement noted that for the visit of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church more than 200 journalists from 19 countries have been accredited to cover the event.

This trip, which is the 35th of Pope Francis abroad since his ascendance in 2013, among other things, is an important opportunity to promote the Republic of Cyprus to an audience of millions of believers around the world.

It is expected that, on the occasion of this historic event, hundreds of believers from neighboring countries of the wider region will travel to Cyprus, to attend the ecumenical prayer led by the Pope in the Catholic Church of the Holy Cross in Nicosia, but also in the divine mass.

This is the second time that a Primate of the Roman Catholic Church visits Cyprus. The first was in 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI visited the island for the first time, during the presidency of Dimitris Christofias.

Finally, it is noted that on November 24, the Cypriot Council of Ministers approved the lease of state land to the Vatican Government for the construction of an Embassy in Nicosia. The plot is located in the area of ​​Aglantzia. The Vatican Government will proceed with the construction of the building within a period of five (5) years from the date of signing the relevant Lease Agreement, after obtaining all the required permits from the competent authorities.

Pope Francis will remain in Cyprus until Saturday morning, when he will leave for Greece.

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