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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pope Plans Cuba Trip

HAVANA () -- Cuba and the Vatican have agreed to make arrangements for Pope John Paul to visit the Communist-ruled island, Vatican Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Tauran said on Tuesday.

Archbishop Tauran said Cuban President Fidel Castro had told him a long-standing Cuban invitation to the pontiff was valid. "We have agreed that soon the relevant arrangements will be made for this pastoral visit to take place," he told reporters at the end of a five-day visit.

Tauran was the first Vatican foreign minister to be invited to Cuba.

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"The so longed-for visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba would represent a culmination and a new departure point on the road towards normalized relations between the church and the state in Cuba," Tauran said.