VIDEO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Meets Pope Francis at Vatican

Tue Jan 26, 2016 17:28:01

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani holds a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a three-leg European tour.

The meeting was held behind closed doors on Tuesday on the second day of Rouhani’s trip which has already taken him to the Italian capital Rome.

The prefect of the papal household bishop Georg Gaenswein welcomed Rouhani upon his arrival.

The meeting between the Pope and President Rouhani is the first of its kind since 1999 when Pope St. John Paul II met the then Iranian President Mohammad Khatami at the Vatican.

Rouhani arrived in Rome on Monday at the head of a delegation of more than 100 businessmen and ministers on the first leg of his trip to three European destinations after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries started on January 16 to implement a nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), they reached in Vienna last July.

During his stay in Rome, the Iranian president held talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella. He also addressed an Iran-Italy business forum.

Iran and Italy on Monday night signed multi-billion dollar contracts covering various sectors including health, transportation, agriculture and energy.

The contracts, worth up to 17 billion euros (USD 18.4 billion), were signed in a ceremony attended by the Iranian president and his Italian counterpart in Rome.

Rouhani will set off for Paris on Wednesday to hold talks with senior French officials, Press TV reported.


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