Merkel Thanks Sant'Egidio for AIDS Work

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BERLIN, JAN. 14, 2008 ( German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her thanks to the Catholic lay Community of Sant'Egidio for their work in caring for AIDS victims.

Marking the community's 40th anniversary, founder Andrea Riccardi and the group's president, Marco Impagliazzo, were received today by the chancellor.

A communiqué from the community reported, "Central to the cordial conversation, which lasted an hour, were the themes of Europe's mission in the world, the development of African countries, in particular, attention given to AIDS, and interreligious dialogue, together with the great challenges that characterize the civilization of our time."

Merkel, the note added, "thanked the community for the responsibility which it has assumed on the international scene in favor of peace and development, and in particular for the DREAM [Drug Resources Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition] program, which today cares for 45,000 AIDS patients in 10 African countries."