Rome bans protests as Turkish President Erdogan visits Pope Francis

by Abel Hampton February 6, 2018, 13:41
Rome bans protests as Turkish President Erdogan visits Pope Francis

Turns out they had nothing to worry about, they both can't stand the fact that Israel still insists Jerusalem is its capital, and now a United States president is backing them up.

Some 150 Kurdish protesters gathered near the Vatican on Monday as Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan swept past in a long motorcade to the Vatican where he met with Pope Francis.

The two men were expected to discuss the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to move the American embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, but Erdoğan told reporters on Sunday that wouldn't be the only topic of conversation.

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.

However, sympathizers of the Kurdish cause weren't the only ones to criticize the Turkish president's visit.

Both President Erdogan and the Pope have expressed their concern about President Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision, given it flouts long standing worldwide agreements on bringing peace to the Holy Land. Anti-migrant and Euroskeptic League leader Matteo Salvini said Monday he was "ashamed" that Italy was hosting a visit by Erdogan.

Turkish president heads to Italy to discuss Jerusalem with pope

Referring to Jerusalem in December, Francis emphasised that the city is sacred to followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and prayed that no "new elements of tension" would be added to a world already suffering many conflicts.

The two leaders had "cordial discussions" on the situation in Turkey, the condition of the Catholic community there, and Turkey's efforts in receiving and hosting refugees, according to a Vatican statement.

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.

Erdogan is scheduled to also meet Italy's president and prime minister.

President Erdoğan also communicated the latest information on Turkey's Operation Olive Branch against the PKK terror organization's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG), in Syria's northwestern province of Afrin.

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