(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Pope Francis affirmed Saturday moral and financial support of the Catholic Church for Bosnia and Herzegovina, calling for co-existence and tolerance among diverse racial communities in the country.
In his speech aired by the state-owned TV, the Pope expressed his backing to the bid of Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the European Union (EU), noting that the country needs support to integrate with the rest of Europe.
He described Sarajevo as the "holy place of Europe" as it has Muslims, Christians and Jews.
He underlined the need to hold dialogue and cooperation for better future of the next generations, referring to the war that engulfed the country and ended through dialogue and peace.
The Pope urged the country's people to put the war behind them and work together to achieve peace.
On his part, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Ivanic thanked the Pope for his support for the country in its bid to join the EU, stressing his keenness on continuing making reforms for the sake of EU membership.
He emphasized that the country will work on joining the EU through joint action with all diverse racial leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Pope arrived in Sarajevo earlier today on an official visit during which he met with members of the country's presidential council.
He has declared that his mission in Bosnia is aimed boosting co-existence and tolerance among the diverse racial communities.
It is the third Papal visit to Bosnia since its independence from the defunct Soviet Union in 1992, and the first by Pope Francis.