WORLD : Pope to Seek Vatican-Soviet Ties

From Times Wire Services

Pope John Paul II will ask Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to agree to permanent ties for the first time between the Kremlin and the Holy See, a top Vatican official said today.

Gorbachev will arrive in Italy on Wednesday and meet with Polish-born John Paul on Friday for the first talks between a leader of the world's Roman Catholics and a Soviet Communist Party chief.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro indicated that the issue of Vatican-Moscow ties, broken after the Russian Revolution in 1917, will be high on the Pope's agenda.

"The Holy See is asking for the possibility of a type of permanent, stable relationship," Navarro said.

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