Pope meets with Ukrainian President

Kyiv, Ukraine - A meeting of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma with Pope John Paul II, who came on a state visit to Ukraine today, has opened in Kyiv.

The Pontiff and the President are due to hold a short eye-to-eye meeting, following which the Pope will meet with members of the President's family.

Pope asks God's pardon "for mistakes of remote and recent past" and forgives those who "was unfair towards us"

Kyiv, June 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Head of the Roman Catholic Church John Paul II called Christians to forgive each other.

"As a pilgrim of the world and community, I believe I will be gladly accepted even by those who do not refer themselves to the Catholicism, however, they have heart open to dialogue and cooperation. I want to assure them that I arrived here not with proselyte intentions but to celebrate Christ together with all the Christians of any church and any religious rite, and to invite all the sons and daughters of this distinguished land to turn their looks to the One who gave his life to save the world," the pontiff said.

The Pope greeted "Orthodox brothers: bishops, monks, priests and believers who make up the majority of the country's citizens."

Majority in Ukraine approve of Pope's visit - poll

Kyiv, June 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Over a half (57.6%) of Ukrainian citizens approve of the visit to Ukraine by Pope John Paul II.

This is seen from the results of the public opinion poll held by the Ukrainian economic and political research center named after Olexandr Razumkov.