Erdogan, his wife and the pope pose for a picture. Erdogan spoke privately with Francis for about 50 minutes. REUTERS/Alessandro Di Meo/Pool
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Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the first visit by a Turkish president to the Vatican in 59 years Monday, discussing the status of Jerusalem with Pope Francis, as scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators nearby.Returning a visit made by the pope to Turkey in 2014, Erdogan spoke privately with Francis for about 50 minutes in the pontiff's frescoed study in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, which he uses mostly for ceremonial purposes.Both Erdogan and Pope Francis are opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which many U.S. allies say could doom Middle East peace efforts.Among Erdogan's delegation was Mehmet Pacaci, Turkey's ambassador to the Vatican.
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