Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Macedonia can rely on Vatican support, PM Gruevski

Macedonian top delegation led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had an official audience Saturday with the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, MIA's special correspondent reports. Gruevski said the meeting focused on Macedonia-Vatican relations and thus Macedonia could rely on Holy See's support for Macedonian aspirations for EU accession.
-We can rely on Vatican as supporter and partner to the Republic of Macedonia, said Gruevski, adding that both interlocutors also talked about the situation in Macedonia, being EU candidate country. -Vatican's support for EU is extremely important for us (Macedonia).
Furthermore, he briefed the Pontiff on Government's plans to establish religious instructions in schools and to renovate Mother Theresa's house.
-The Pontiff was acknowledged with the new law on holidays, as well as with Government's plans for establishing religious instructions in schools. It was a very pleasant moment for Vatican, added Gruevski. He said that meetings were held with Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and with Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Dominique Mamberti.
-We've invited them to Macedonia, to attend the conference which is due to take place in October. It will be a conference for peaceful and civilised dialogue.
According to Gruevski, Radio Vatican might start broadcasting programme on Macedonian language as of next year.
The meeting was chiefly focused on Greece's name dispute with Macedonia. In the course of the meeting with Benedict XVI, Gruevski briefed on Macedonian Orthodox Church's dispute with the Serbian Church.
-I've elaborated the absurdity of the situation that's taking place with the Serbian Orthodox Church. They are mostly neutral on the issue, however they've always had determined their own influence, said Gruevski.
He visited St. Clement’s Basilica, where he laid flowers on St. Cyril's tomb. The delegation, paying first official visit to Vatican, included the Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki and Vice PMs Zoran Stavreski and Imer Selmani.

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