Pope Francis receives Ethiopian Prime Minister

Pope Francis meets with Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Vatican Media

On the afternoon of Monday 21 January 2019, Pope Francis received in Audience Mr Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis on Monday met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, at an Audience at the Vatican.

According to a communique from the Holy See Press Office, the “cordial talks” emphasized “important initatives underway for the promotion of national reconciliation, and for the integral development of Ethiopia”. The talks also focused on the “role of Christianity in the history of the Ethiopian people”—Ethiopia was one of the first lands to adopt Christianity, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church remains the largest religious body in the country by population.

A significant sign of peace

During the discussions, the situation in Eastern Africa was addressed, including the importance of the “peaceful resolution of conflicts and the socio-economic development of Africa.” In particular, Ethiopia’s “commitment to the stabilization of the Horn of Africa,” and the recent resumption of diplomatic relations with Eritrea were noted.

Earlier this month, in his address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis took special note of the “historic agreement” between the two countries, which he described as one of the significant signs of peace in the past year.

Exchange of gifts

At the conclusion of their encounter, the two leaders made a traditional exchange of gifts, with the Prime Minister offering a present of traditional Ethiopian fabrics, along with a painting of the Risen Christ. The Holy Father, for his part, presented Prime Minister Abiy with a medallion with an image of an ear of corn and a bunch of grapes in the desert – a reference, the Pope explained, to the prophecy of Isaiah, that the desert would one day become a garden. Pope Francis also gave the prime minister a copy of the text of the Message for the World Day of Peace, and bound copies of four other Pontifical Documents: Evangelii gaudiumLaudato síGaudete et exultate, and Amoris laetitia.

Following the Audience with the Holy Father, Prime Minister Abiy met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Msgr Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States.

Vatican News


  1. It’s a great honor and pleasure to note that the Ethiopian Prime Minister, H.E./Dr. Abiy Ahmed had meetings with H.E. the Italian Prime Minister and His Holiness Pope Francis I as well as certain Vatican officials in Rome. Their exchange of gifts and peaceful statements are indications of peaceful relations between Ethiopia, Italy and the Vatican

    It’s fervently hoped that the meeting would lead to an apology by the Vatican to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with Fascist Italy and the vast war crimes that the latter committed including the massacre of one million people of whom 30,000 were decimated in Addis Ababa within only three days during February 19-21, 1937 and the later murder of 2,000 monks and parishioners at the Debre Libanos monastery as well as the destruction of 525,000 homes, 2,000 churches and 14 milion animals and the looting of huge quantities of Ethiopian properties.

    It’s unfortunate to note that so far the Italian Government has not so far paid adequate remunerations as well as restitution of the looted propertis to Ethiopia. The Vatican has also not apologized to the Ethiopian people. It’s important to note that Italy has remunerated Libya with $5 billion for the massacre of 30,000 people while the Vatican has apologized to the Jews as well as the people of Latin America and Rwanda.

    Will the important meeting between the Ethiopian Prime Minister and His Holiness Pope Francis I as well as the Italian Prime Minister result in an adequate apology, remuneration and restitution to the Ethiopian people? May the Almighty help all concerned in facilitating the justice for Ethiopia.


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