Rome, July 5, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at his meeting with Pope Francis they discussed the protection of Christians in the Middle East and humanitarian assistance for Syria.
"We touched on the topics of protecting the Christian population of the Middle East and humanitarian assistance for Syria," Putin told a press conference after Russian-Italian talks.
The two also discussed the situation in Venezuela and Libya and the development of Russia-Vatican relations, including on trade, education and health care, he said.
"It is important for Russia and Vatican to have consonant positions on the traditional values and the promotion of the inter-religious, cross-civilizational dialogue," Putin said.
"It was a very good discussion of several international issues and of the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Vatican, including the spiritual aspect of this relationship, and humanitarian ties," Putin said.