VATICAN CITY, 9 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"Today, 9 July, the Holy Father received in audience Kevin Rudd, prime minister of Australia, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.
"During the cordial discussions mention was made of the Holy Father's trip to Sydney in July 2008 for World Youth Day, recollecting the great spirit of collaboration between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities that characterised the organisation of that event. Attention also focused on the current international and regional situation, with reference to both respect for religious liberty and environmental problems".
The Holy See Press Office also released another communique today, concerning the Pope's subsequent meeting with Lee Myung-bak, president of the Republic of Korea:
"The cordial discussions", the text reads, "provided an opportunity for an exchange of ideas on certain themes of common interest, among them the effects of the world economic crisis, especially on the poorest countries, and the political and social situation on the Korean peninsula.
"At a bilateral level, mention was made of the good relations that exist between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See, as well as of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, and of co-operation between Church and State in the educational and social fields".
OP/.../.PRIME MINISTER:PRESIDENT VIS 20090709 (230)