Pope Francis waves from his popemobile as he makes his way into central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. The pontiff arrived for a seven-day visit in Brazil, the world's most populous Roman Catholic nation. During his visit, Francis will meet with legions of young Roman Catholics converging on Rio for the church's World Youth Day festival. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)AP2013
Vatican City – Pope Francis and Bolivian President Evo Morales discussed here Friday the importance of the fight against social inequalities and poverty, the Vatican said in a statement.
The two men expressed their agreement on "the importance of good relations between the ecclesiastical community and the state, above all on subjects of common interest for the good of the nation," the statement added.
They also spoke about the international situation, and in particular about initiatives to achieve peace in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
Morales confirmed before his visit that he would take part in the day of prayer and fasting that Pope Francis has scheduled for this Saturday to beseech peace in Syria and everywhere in the world.
In the exchange of gifts, Morales gave the pontiff a book detailing the struggle of the Bolivian government to regain at least part of the Pacific coastline the now-landlocked country lost to Chile in a 19th century war.
After Morales' audience with the pope, the Bolivian delegation met with Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and the Holy See's foreign minister, Dominique Mamberti.