Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister for a Knowledge-based Society, European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities, Dušan Čaplovič (a Smer party nominee), left on a three-day working trip to Italy on May 25, said Ľubomír Šišák from Čaplovič's office to the TASR newswire.
Čaplovič's first stop is the Vatican where he will meet the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The two officials are slated to discuss their stances regarding current international developments and opportunities for further fostering relations between Slovakia and the Holy See.
On following days Čaplovič's agenda will include meetings with a range of Italian government officials with discussions revolving around foreign-policy matters, the impact of the global economic crisis on the Slovak and Italian economies, the Lisbon Treaty and the Lisbon Strategy.
During his trip, the Slovak official will also have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI and will meet Jean-Pierre Mazery, the Grand Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
In a statement, Čaplovič said it will be a great honour for Slovakia and the Slovak government if President Ivan Gašparovič's invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Slovakia becomes a reality. Gašparovič recently invited the Pope to visit Slovakia in 2013 to mark the 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of missionaries St. Cyril and St. Methodius on the territory of modern-day Slovakia. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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