.- After a visit to the grave of Pope John Paul II on Thursday afternoon, President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal of Panama met this morning with Pope Benedict XVI and extended him an invitation to visit his country.
The meeting with Benedict XVI took place at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandalfo, just outside of Rome.
The audience involved a discussion of the current international and regional situation.
"Attention also focused on certain aspects of the situation in Panama itself, in particular on the social policies launched by the government, development projects for the country, and collaboration between Church and State with a view to promoting Christian values and the common good," a statement from the Vatican press office said.
At the end of their conversation, President Martinelli invited the Holy Father to visit Panama.
Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country in 1983 was the last time a Pontiff spent time there.