The US Secretary of State is the highest-ranking member of the new Joe Biden administration meeting with the pontiff from whom a more cordial relationship is expected than with the Trump administration.
Official sources said Friday that Pope Francis would meet with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Monday, signaling the resumption of relations between the United States and the Vatican following Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency.
Blinken, who is touring Europe, will meet with the pope at Holy See, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, who serves as Potaf's secretary of state, confirmed the State Department spokesman.
So far, Blinken, a senior member of Biden's new administration, has met with the pope.
Pope Francis, who regularly speaks out on the fight against climate change and the plight of refugees, is expected to have a more cordial relationship with the Buden administration than with the Trump administration.
The pontiff had criticized the former US president for building a wall on the border with Mexico.
He also refused to meet Blinken's predecessor, Mike Pompeo, before the US presidential election last year.
Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, had criticized the pope in 2018 after an agreement that resolved a dispute between China and the Vatican over the appointment of bishops.
On the other hand, Blinken and the representatives of Canada and the European Union issued a statement this Friday. They stated that they were "willing" to review the sanctions against Venezuela based on "significant progress" in the electoral negotiations.
We welcome significant and credible progress in restoring the central democratic process and institutions in Venezuela, and we look forward to reviewing sanctions policies based on significant progress in the Comprehensive Dialogue, "he said. Asked about the possibility of sending a mission to the country.
The joint statement was signed by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony J. Blinken, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Marc Garneau.
We are deeply concerned about the current crisis in Venezuela and its regional and global implications.
The three representatives of foreign policy affirmed that the solution to this crisis "has to come from the Venezuelan people themselves through comprehensive negotiations." They announced that it should be "a comprehensive negotiation process with specific deadlines (that restores) the country's institutions and allow all Venezuelans to express themselves politically through credible, inclusive and transparent local, parliamentary and presidential elections."
In addition, they called for "electoral conditions" by international standards for democracy from the local and regional elections scheduled for November 2021.