Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks to reporters after a meeting with the Knights of Malta at their headquarters in Rome April 28, 2009. Lukashenko, long shunned by the West, on Monday met Pope Benedict on a trip to Italy that ends more than a decade of diplomatic isolation. Reuters Pictures
Lukashenka meets with grand master of Knights of Malta
Alyaksandr Lukashenka met with Fra Matthew Festing, grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, in Rome on April 28.
The meeting focused on prospects for the development of relations between Belarus and the Roman Catholic order, which is actively involved in Chernobyl-relief programs, including efforts to provide medical aid to people living in contaminated areas and offer health breaks abroad to Chernobyl-affected children, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
The Belarusian leader arrived in the Italian capital on April 26 on his first visit to a European Union country in many years. He met with Pope Benedict XVI and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday.