Pope Francis is pleased with the trip to the republics of Transcaucasia: from September 30 to October 1, the pontiff visited Georgia, and on October 2 he had a one day visit in Azerbaijan, TASS reports.
“The trip was intense and interesting”, – Pope Francis told the reporters of his press pool on the way from Baku to Rome. This trip was the 16th in a row and the second visit of Latin American pontiff in the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus: in June he visited Armenia.
Pope Francis stayed only one day in the Azerbaijani capital, during which he celebrated Mass in the local Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, had a one on one meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, spoke at the Heydar Aliyev Center in front representatives of the public, and also held talks with the Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh and the heads of religious communities in Azerbaijan. At the end, the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church visited the largest mosque of the Caucasus – Heydar mosque, where he met with the heads of all religious confessions active in the country.
Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the visit of the Pope, especially considering that 2016 is declared the “Year of multiculturalism” in the country with a predominantly Muslim population.