US Secretary of State and top Vatican hierarchs discuss Belarus, China, and the Middle East

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and representatives of the Vatican leadership discussed the situation in Belarus, issues of religious freedom in China, and the situation in the Middle East at a meeting on Thursday. This is stated in a written statement issued after these talks by the Deputy Head of the State Department’s press service, Cale Brown.

As he specified, the interlocutors of the chief of American diplomacy were the Secretary of State (head of government), Vatican city cardinal Pietro Parolin and Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher.

“Secretary Pompeo, cardinal Parolin and Archbishop Gallagher discussed the importance of protecting religious freedom and other human rights issues and expressed particular concern about the situation in China,” Brown said.

According to him, the US Foreign Minister, who is on a European tour, also “thanked the cardinal and Archbishop for calling on the Holy see to end the suffering in Venezuela.”

“On the Middle East, they stressed the need for urgent reform in Lebanon, welcomed international humanitarian assistance to the people of that country, and reviewed the recent agreements to normalize relations between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain — a historic breakthrough towards peace in the Middle East,” Brown said.

Finally, he added, the parties touched upon “the situation in Belarus.” Brown did not provide any details of this discussion.