Pope Francis meets Azerbaijani leader

Ilham Aliyev describes pontiff visit as ‘historic’

Pope Francis meets Azerbaijani leader

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Pope Francis Sunday met Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan concluding his trip in the Caucasus region.

Describing the visit of the spiritual leader of the globe’s estimated 1 billion Catholics in a Muslim-majority country as “historic”, Aliyev said that it was important, both for bilateral relations between the Vatican and Azerbaijan and dialogue between civilizations. 

The 79-year-old Argentinian pontiff also visited Martyrs’ Lane,  a cemetery and memorial in the capital Baku which is dedicated to those who were killed on Jan. 20, 1990 -- is also known as Black January -- during the break-up of the Soviet Union.

The pontiff also celebrated a mass for the country’s tiny Catholic community.

Pope Francis’s visit in the Caucasus started on Friday with neighboring Georgia,  where he faced protests from a Orthodox Christian Church -- the overwhelming majority in the country. He also led mass in a largely empty stadium in the capital Tbilisi.

In 2014, Francis visited Turkey, a mostly Muslim country, and prayed for world peace with the Istanbul-based leader of many of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Greek Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2016, 09:07