Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vatican supports Macedonia's EU, NATO bid

Vatican pledged a full support to Macedonia's efforts to join the EU and NATO, but discreetly urged change of legislation relating religious communities, Makfax reporter said on Monday.

"The Holy See supports your efforts to become part of the European Union and the Euro-Atlantic institutions," the Vatican's Foreign Affairs Minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti said after the meeting with the Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski.

In this context, the Holy See encourages the government to continue to fight political corruption and organized crime, Archbishop Mamberti said.

He expressed hope that Macedonia legislation, in particular the one pertaining to religious freedoms, will soon be in line with the European standards.

"The voice of the Vatican is a voice of high reputation within the European community," Miloshoski said, adding that he was much pleased with the Holy See's backing of Macedonia's strategic goal - EU membership.

Miloshoski added that the relations between Macedonia and Vatican are based on high confidence and intensive co-operation.

Minister Miloshoski and Archbishop Mamberti also discussed about choosing a good reason for Pope Benedict XVI to visit the region.

Asked by a reporter on whether Vatican is willing to help overcome the perennial dispute between Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Mamberti gave a diplomatic answer, saying the Pope supports the dialogue among the sister Orthodox Churches.

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