Pope Francis exchanges gift with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine (R) during a private audience at the Vatican, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Di Meo/Pool
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Pope Francis Monday while police enforced a protest ban in central Rome as feelings run high over Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia inside Syria.During the 50-minute audience, Pope Francis gave Erdogan a medallion embossed with an angel strangling a "demon of war" -- a symbol of peace and justice.For the first visit by a Turkish leader for 59 years, the Italian authorities have imposed a 24-hour ban on demonstrations which covers Erdogan's arrival from late Sunday to his departure Monday evening.Erdogan for his part was expected to thank the pope for opposing the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
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