Vatican City, 8 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The president subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"During the cordial discussions the parties illustrated the steps taken to favour socio-economic development, and reconciliation among the communities hit by the long internal conflict which has affected the country. The hope was expressed that a global joint solution may soon be found corresponding to the legitimate expectations of all the parties involved.
"Finally, emphasis was given to to how the Catholic Church - which makes an important contribution to the life of the country with her religious witness and educational, healthcare and social assistance activities - will continue to commit herself to the common good, reciprocal understanding and the integral development of all citizens".