Pope's meeting with Turkish president draws protesters

Violet Powell
February 6, 2018

Italian authorities have imposed a ban on protests in central Rome as the Eternal City braces for the visit of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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After Erdogan's meeting, Pope Francis met with prelates of the Chaldean Church led by Patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans in Iraq Louis Raphael I Sako.

The aim of the operation is to eliminate terror threats along Turkey's border with Syria, which have been a consisting threat to Turkey's national security.

Turkey's president and the pope have agreed that they both oppose USA president Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This is the first Turkish presidential trip to the Vatican in 59 years.

Erdogan and the pontiff "spoke about the situation in Turkey, the condition of the Catholic community, efforts to accommodate refugees and the challenges linked to this", the Vatican said in a statement after the audience.

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Erdogan, in an interview with Italian daily newspaper La Stampa on Sunday, said he and the pope already had talked by telephone about the Jerusalem issue and said both of them favored working to maintain the status quo for the city considered holy by three religions.

They also addressed "the situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the status of Jerusalem".

"This is the angel of peace who strangles the demon of war". "(It is) a symbol of a world based on peace and justice". The sources said that long-standing positions were reiterated, Italy's in line with those of the European Union, in relation to the main issues on the agenda.

The Turkish military suffered its highest number of casualties in a single day on February 3-4, when 10 soldiers were killed in a 24-hour period.

Erdogan is also set to meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Far-right Brothers of Italy party also protested, expressing on Twitter their stand against "Turkey in Europe".

Other reports by PlayStation Move reviews

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