Pope and Colombian president discuss country's social issues


President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia met with Pope Benedict XVI today and discussed the situation in the South American country, including the problem of drug trafficking.

President Uribe is on a small European tour, and today's schedule included a half hour meeting with Pope Benedict around noon.

According to the Holy See's press office, the two discussed "the current international and regional situation" before focusing on Colombia.

In particular, the talks centered on the fight against drug trafficking, social policies aimed at improving the living conditions of the many people living in poverty and on the efforts of the local Church and the State to achieve lasting peace in the country.

The Pope gave the president a white box with a commemorative gold medal, while Uribe gave the Pope a set of white gold cufflinks.

At the end of the meeting with the Holy Father, President Uribe met with the Archbishop Dominique Mamberti,the Secretary for Relations with States.

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