Pope Francis is planning to travel to the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan in September for an inter-religious world congress, according to a statement published by the Vatican on Tuesday.
At the beginning of January, there was violent riots in Kazakhstan in which more than 200 people lost their lives and the government called in soldiers from neighbouring Russia for support. The unrest was initially triggered by higher fuel prices, which later turned into anti-government riots.
There was already talk of a trip by the head of the Catholic Church to the Central Asian country in April. At that time, Francis spoke with Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in a video link.
However, the Holy See did not confirm afterwards that the pontiff intended to travel for the meeting of representatives of various world religions. The congress is scheduled for Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.
The Holy See and Kazakhstan will look back on 30 years of diplomatic relations in 2022, according to their own statements.