This morning, Omar Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir, president of the Republic of Sudan, was received in audience by the Holy Father Benedict XVI in his summer residence at Castelgandolfo. The president also met with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States and, until last year, the pope’s representative in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
The discussions focused on the country's political and religious situation, with particular reference to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to the situation in Darfur. Both leaders expressed hope for the peace negotiations about the Darfur region which will be held on October 27 in Libya.
"Other subjects of joint interest were considered, such as the defense of life and of the family, the respect and promotion of human rights including the fundamental right of religious freedom, the importance of inter-religious dialogue and of collaboration between believers in all religions - in particular Christians and Muslims - for the promotion of peace and the common good. In this context, the positive role of the Catholic Church and her institutions in Sudanese society was reiterated, especially in the field of education."