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South Sudan president top Vatican diplomat discuss peace implementation

March 22, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and top Vatican diplomat discussed Friday discussed ways the Pope can support the peace process and reconciliation in South Sudan.

President Kiir shakes hand with top Vatican diplomat Archbishop Paul Gallagher in Juba on 22 March 2019 (SSPPU photo)On 16 March, Kiir paid a visit to the Vatican City State where he discussed with Pope Francis ways in which the Catholic Church can contribute to achieving reconciliation and reconstruction in South Sudan.

Also, he held a meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States.

In a statement released in Juba on Friday, the presidency said that Archbishop Gallagher held a meeting with President Kiir on Friday morning.

The meeting discussed " the general situation in the country and ways of implementing the peace agreement.

In statements to the media after the meeting, the visiting diplomat stressed "the readiness of the Pope to support the peace process in South Sudan".

He further said that his meeting with President Kiir was "fruitful and constructive".

During his meeting with Kiir, Pope Francis renewed his intention to visit South Sudan to support peace implementation in the country.

In 2017, the Catholic Church announced a visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan in October of that year. However, the security conditions due to the continuation of war did not allow such a visit.