Vatican City, Feb 12, 2018 / 08:05 am
Just two months after his recent visit to Bangladesh, Pope Francis on Monday welcomed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Vatican, where they discussed positive inter-faith relations in the country and the need to find a lasting solution to the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis.
According to a Feb. 12 Vatican communique, the conversation was cordial and highlighted the positive bilateral relations between the two countries and the success of Francis' Nov. 30-Dec. 2 visit to Bangladesh.
In particular, the "keen participation" of many non-Catholics was emphasized, as Bangladesh is a majority Muslim nation. Catholics are a small minority in Bangladesh, numbering only 375,000 – 0.2 percent – out of a total population of almost 156 million people.
The two spoke in English with the help of the Pope's official interpreter, Monsignor Mark Miles. As Hasina walked in, she told the Pope that she was "very glad you were able to visit Bangladesh," and Francis expressed his own gratitude, saying "thank you."