Benedict XVI and the president of Togo discussed the situation of the thousands of refugees in that West African country. Faure Gnassingbe visited the Pope on Saturday in the Vatican.
The president is the son of Etienne Gnassingbe Eyadema, who was also president of the small African country.After being received by Benedict XVI, the president met with the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.
"In the course of the cordial discussions satisfaction was expressed at the good relations that exist between the Holy See and Togo, with particular emphasis on the contribution Catholics make to the integral progress of the Togolese people," the Vatican press office reported. "The need to achieve complete national reconciliation was underlined as was the urgent importance of bringing aid to the numerous refugees and victims of last October's floods."
Togo has a population of 5.7 million. About half of Togolese belong to traditional African religions; another 29% are Christian and 20% are Muslim.