Minister of State Niels Annen is travelling to Rome today (13 September). The central focus of his trip will be talks in the Vatican on current foreign policy issues. The crisis in Nicaragua will form the main topic of discussion between Mr Annen and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See. The Minister of State issued the following statement prior to his departure:
I view the developments in Nicaragua with concern and wholeheartedly condemn the massive increase in crackdowns on peaceful protesters and the attacks on representatives of the Catholic Church. The Bishops’ Conference is highly respected by the Nicaraguan people and has played an instrumental role since the political crisis erupted in April. The Federal Government is cooperating with the European Union to find a political solution to the crisis in Nicaragua and has also offered its support to the Church.
Other topics for discussion in the Holy See will be the refugee crisis in and around Venezuela and the situation in the Middle East. The agenda for the meeting with Ambassador Pietro Benassi, Diplomatic Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister, will include the situation in Libya.