On his arrival at Geneva airport, Pope Francis will be greeted by President Alain Berset, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the President of the National Council, Dominique de Buman, and a delegation from the Genevan authorities. Mr Berset is expected to hold talks with the Pope followed by a meeting at which Federal Councillor Cassis and the President of the National Council will also be present.
In Geneva, Pope Francis will visit the World Council of Churches, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its establishment. In the evening, following the ecumenical and pastoral elements of the visit, President Berset and Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will take their leave of the pontiff. Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will accompany the Pope on his visit to Geneva. The delegation is also expected to include senior representatives from the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.
Switzerland has excellent relations with the Vatican, or more precisely with the Holy See in its capacity as a subject of international law. The Pontifical Swiss Guard in Rome is a visible symbol of these traditional ties, indeed a detail of the Guard will be accompanying the Pope on his visit.
In addition to their close contacts on religious and military matters, relations between Switzerland and the Holy See involve regular exchanges particularly on political, academic and cultural affairs. At international level, there are numerous areas of common interest in terms of peace policy, sustainable development and humanitarian issues.
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