Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday had a meeting with Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of the Catholics of the world, at the Holy See in Vatican City.
“The Prime Minister visited Vatican City in the morning (Local time) at the invitation of the Pope and had an audience with him at the Vatican City near the Italian capital of Rome,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said.
On her arrival at the Vatican City at 10am, the Prime Minister was given a static guard of honour.
Later, the Prime Minister held the meeting with the Pope at his office in Vatican City.
After the meeting, Sheikh Hasina introduced her entourage to the Pope.
She also presented a painting on natural beauty of Bangladesh to the Pope who later gave a crest to Sheikh Hasina. The Pope also presented souvenirs to the Prime Minister’s entourage.
Hasina’s meeting with the Pope came two months after the catholic community’s top spiritual leader visited Dhaka largely to use his good office in resolving the Rohingya crisis mounting pressure on Myanmar to stop atrocities on Rohingyas and take the displaced people back home with dignity.
Pope Francis visited Bangladesh from November 31 to December 2 last at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Prime Minister also had a meeting with Secretary State of Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Vatican City.
She also visited Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City from where he delivers the religious and functionary papal activities.
St. Peter’s Basilica is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.
Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world.
In the evening, World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley will meet Sheikh Hasina at her hotel here.
The Prime Minister arrived here on Sunday evening on four-day official visit to Italy and Vatican City to attend the 41st Session of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
She will attend the two-day 41st Session of the Governing Council of IFAD that begins in the IFAD Headquarters in Rome on Tuesday morning.
She will present a keynote paper at the inaugural session of the governing council meeting.