India-born archbishop named Vatican's top UN envoy



Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI Saturday named a India-born archbishop, Francis Assisi Chullikatt, as the Vatican's top envoy at the UN.

Chullikat, 57, takes up the position of Holy See Permanent Observer at the UN, replacing Archbishop Celestino Migliore who last month was named the Vatican's apostolic nuncio to Poland.

Born in Bolghatty, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Chullikat, who has a degree in church law, was ordained a priest in 1978.

He has served as a Vatican diplomat in Honduras, in southern Africa and the Philippines as well as at the Vatican Secretariat for Relations with the States - the Holy See's equivalent of a foreign ministry.

In 2006, Chullikat was consecrated as a archbishop and appointed apostolic nuncio, or Vatican ambassador to Jordan and Iraq.

The world's tiniest sovereign state, the Vatican was in 1964 granted the status of non-voting permanent observer state at the UN.

IANS