On January 8-10, 2018 Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhanar Aitzhanova participated at the Annual Reception of the Pope Francis in Vatican on the occasion of the New Year. During this visit the Kazakh Ambassador held talks with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for International Relations Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.
Ambassador Aitzhanova had a brief meeting with Pope Francis during which she conveyed warm greetings and good wishes to His Holiness on behalf of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Kazakh diplomat expressed her gratitude to the Pope for Vatican's active participation at the International Exhibition EXPO2017 in Astana, and the support of Kazakhstan's initiatives in the international arena to promote tolerance, peace and harmony.
In the address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, the Pope emphasized the issues of human rights, unemployment, migration, refugees, as well as conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. According to the Pope any disputes which may arise between nations must be resolved by negotiation and agreement, not by recourse to arms. In this regard, His Holiness urged all world powers to support a dialogue on reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and to achieve legislative ban on nuclear weapons.
The Kazakh Ambassador exchanged views on current issues and prospects for bilateral cooperation between the two states with Pietro Parolin and Paul Richard Gallagher. The parties have also discussed Vatican's participation at the VI Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Kazakhstan's activities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and other important issues on the international agenda.