(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has arrived in Georgia at the start of a three day trip to the Caucasus which will also take him Sunday for a brief visit to Azerbaijan. On Friday, Georgian government, civil and religious leaders and members of the Catholic community turned out at Tbilisi’s international airport to greet the pontiff, whose plane touched down shortly before 3:00 pm local time.
On Pope Francis’ schedule for the afternoon: a private visit to the President of the Republic, President Eduard Shevardnadze, at the presidential palace in Tbilisi followed by a meeting with national authorities, civil leaders and the diplomatic corps. The Holy Father will then pay a visit to Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II of all Georgia at the Patriarchal Palace in the capital. He will conclude the afternoon with a meeting with members of the Syro-Chaldean community in the Catholic Church of Saint Simon the Tanner in Tbilisi.
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