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Could the Pope meet China’s president in Kazakhstan?

Pope Francis (l) and China’s President Xi Jinping (r)


SRI LANKA, Katunayake : China&#039;s President Xi Jinping gestures during a welcome ceremony at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake on September 16, 2014. President Xi Jinping arrived in Sri Lanka September 16 where he will launch construction of a Chinese-backed $1.4 billion port city as he promotes his vision of a &quot;maritime silk road&quot; in the face of growing competition from Japan and India. AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI<br /> CITE DU VATICAN, Vatican City : Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience in St Peter&#039;s Square at the Vatican on September 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

I.Media - published on 09/05/22

The two leaders will be in the country on the same day.

The president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, will visit Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan for a state visit on September 14, 2022, announced Aibek Smadiyarov, representative of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry on September 5, 2022. The Chinese head of state will thus be in the capital on the same day as Pope Francis, who is traveling there September 13-15 to attend an interfaith summit organized by the Kazakhstan government.

The official said he did not yet know whether Xi Jinping would attend the interfaith meeting. If he does, it could be an opportunity to bring about the first meeting between a pope and a Chinese head of state in history.

Officially, Xi Jinping’s visit is aimed at signing bilateral documents in various areas of cooperation at the political, commercial, economic, cultural and humanitarian levels, the spokesman explained. The visit is made “at the invitation” of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

This trip of the Chinese president will be highly observed: It is the first he makes since the outbreak of the pandemic in his country in 2019. He will then travel to Samarkand, a famous stop on the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, where the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit will be held on September 15 and 16.

This organization includes China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the Central Asian republics. Xi Jinping will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on this occasion.

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