Pope Francis received in audience this morning — in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace –, Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, who later met Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States.
According to a note, published by the Holy See Press Office today, Friday, June 18, 2021, during the conversations, held in an atmosphere of cordiality, satisfaction was expressed over the good relations that exist between the Holy See and Georgia. Special mention was made of their mutual collaboration in the cultural, scientific and educational realms, and of the Catholic Church’s contribution in the country.”
“Topics of a regional and international character were addressed, with special attention given to humanitarian questions, with emphasis on the importance to promote justice and social harmony,” adds the note.
The Apostolic Nunciature in Georgia reported that the Holy Father and the country’s President had a telephone conversation on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in the late afternoon. Speaking of subjects of mutual interest and concern, Pope Francis recalled his enthusiastic visit to the country in 2016 and confirmed his unbreakable support to the Nation.
According to the Website of the international network of the Council of Women Leaders of the World, Mrs. Zourabichvili was invested as the country’s first woman President on December 16, 2018. She was born in 1952 and studied at the Institute of Political Studies (1969-1972) in Paris, France, and received a Master’s from the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University (1972-1973) in New York, USA.
From 1974 to 2004 she worked in the diplomatic service of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of France in several Embassies (Italy, the United States, and Chad) and in French Representations to international organizations (UN, NATO, Western European Union, OSCE).
In 2003 she was appointed Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadress of France in Georgia. From 2004 to 2005 she was Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. After leaving this post, she founded the political party “The Way of Georgia,” on March 11, 2006.
From 2006 to 2015, Zourabichvili was Associate Professor of International Relations at Paris’ Institute of Political Studies. At the same time, she directed a supervisory group of the United Nations Security Council on the sanctions against Iran (2010-2015). In 2016 she won her election as an independent Deputy in Georgia’s Parliament.
She speaks Georgian, French, and English fluidly and has a basic knowledge of Italian.