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New Delhi :  Pope Francis received Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican on October 30, 2021.This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades. In June 2000, the then  Prime Minister lat  Atal Bihari Vajpayee had last visited the Vatican and met the then Pope, John Paul II.

India and The Holy See have friendly relations dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948. India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia.

( PM Narendra Modi meeting Pope Francis, in Vatican City on October 30, 2021)

During today’s meeting, the two leaders discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences for people across the world. They also discussed the challenge posed by climate change. Prime Minister Modi briefed the Pope about the ambitious initiatives taken by India in combating climate change as well as India’s success in administering one billion Covid-19 vaccination doses. His Holiness appreciated India’s assistance to the countries in need during the pandemic.

Prime Minster Modi extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure, according to a PIB release. Prime Minister also met Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.