Pope Francis Receives Turkish President At The Vatican

Pope Francis Receives Turkish President At The Vatican

Pope Francis Receives Turkish President At The Vatican

Turkey's president set off Sunday on his way to Italy to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, where the status of Jerusalem is expected to top their agenda.

Despite previous disagreements, the two leaders found common ground on Jerusalem after the U.S. unilaterally recognized the city as the capital of Israel.

Erdogan responded by calling an emergency meeting of the OIC that Turkey hosted in Istanbul.

Both Erdogan and Pope Francis are opposed to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which many US allies say could doom Middle East peace efforts.

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Three years ago, in April 2015, Pope Francis and the Turkish leader were entangled in a fierce dispute over Turkey's refusal to accept its responsibility for the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, second from left, and his wife Emine, right, exchange gifts with Pope Francis as they meet at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

Erdogan and the pope discussed the status of Jerusalem, which has always been regarded sacred by 3 religions.

The Vatican backs a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with both sides agreeing on the status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - as part of the peace process.

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The state-run Anadolu Agency said Mr Erdogan and Francis also expressed the need to avoid "provocative statements that link Islam with terrorism". "(It is) a symbol of a world based on peace and justice". At least one demonstrator was injured, a witness said.

A Kurdish association in Italy organized a sit-in protest by 200 people near the Vatican.

Protests were banned within the maximum-security restricted area, but not in the rest of Rome, and an authorized demonstration took place at Castel Sant'Angelo near the Vatican in the morning.

'Turkey fulfilled all demands of the European Union and intends to become its full-fledged member; other conditions of the European Union doesn't interest Ankara, ' the president said.

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