Rome

Premier Monti welcomes new pope

'Italians linked by special history with Argentina'

Premier Monti welcomes new pope

Rome, March 13 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Wednesday welcomed newly elected Pope Francis I. "The people of Italy embrace Your Holiness with affection and joy, brimming with hope and faith," said the premier in a message. He went on to comment on Italy's historic ties to his birthplace of Argentina and the name Francis, after St Francis of Assisi, one of Italy's patron saints. "Italians, who are linked by a special history with the people of Argentina, are now seeing themselves in their patron saint, Francis of Assisi, together with the world in the pursuit of justice and peace, along with Your Holiness, with whom Italy supports in his choice of name," said Monti. "On behalf of all Italians, the government and myself, I extend to Your Holiness my warmest and most respectful tribute".

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