Paul Biya And Pope Francis Meet Again

 The official visit of President Paul Biya and the First Lady Chantal Biya to the Vatican yesterday was an occasion to strengthen relations between Yaounde and the Holy See.

Relations between the Vatican and Cameroon were at the Centre stage yesterday at the Library of the Holy See where Pope Francis received President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya.
The official visit of the Presidential Couple to the Vatican rumbled off at 9h45 with their arrival at the Saint Damase Courtyard inside the Vatican where they were welcomed by the Prefet of the Pontifical House, before going through a guard of honour and review of troops mounted by Swiss guards. It was the turn of Gentlemen of His Holiness to great the august guests and lead them through the elevator to the inner chambers of the Holy See. On arrival, the Head of State was led to the private library of the Pope while the First Lady was taken to the Hall of Ambassadors. After more than thirty minutes of in-camera discussions between the Pope and President Paul Biya, the First Lady, Chantal Biya was then accompanied to the Papal library. Members of the Presidential delegation were also led into the Holy presence and introduced to the Pope. Shortly after the series of introductions, there was an air of familiarity and intimacy between President Paul Biya and the Holy Father, with the exchange of gifts which came with explanations of their significance and symbolism. The photo sessions drew curtains on the official visit although the Pope still took time to shake hands with journalists, cameramen and photographers who had the privilege of access to the inner chambers of the Holy See.
Stage two of the official visit of President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya to the Vatican yesterday was the meeting with the Cardinal, Secretary of State of the Holy See. The Presidential Couple were accompanied by the Prefet of the Pontifical House to the Clementine Hall where the Regent of the Pontifical Hall led them to the Cardinal Secretary of State. The second series of in-camera discussions took place in the Vatican between President Paul Biya and the Cardinal Secretary of State. At the end of the meeting, the First Lady Chantal Biya and the rest of the official delegation were led to presence of President Paul Biya and the Cardinal Secretary of State to watch the exchange of gifts before taking leave from the Cardinal for the Saint Damase Court and subsequent departure from the Holy See.
Relations between Cameroon and the Vatican started effectively in October 1966 with the establishment of diplomatic ties. Cameroon opened a Chancellery in Rome, while the Holy See opened an Apostolic Nunciature in Yaoundé which covers Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

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