29 September 2005 -- Serbian President Boris Tadic met Pope Benedict XVI today at the Vatican and said he hopes the pontiff could visit his country "as soon as possible."
However, Tadic told reporters that there were some "preconditions" that had to be worked out first. He was referring to an agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church to invite the pope.
Relations between the Vatican and the Serbian Orthodox Church were strained when the Holy See supported the secession of mostly Catholic Croatia from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pontiff hopes to make the trip. He added that the 25-minute meeting centered on the situation in Kosovo and the presence of Christians in the predominantly Muslim province, and the need to instill values in Serbia's youth.
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