Trump holds face-to-face talks with Pope Francis

US President Donald Trump has met Pope Francis at the Vatican for a short private audience on the third leg of his overseas trip.

He arrived for the meeting along with his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The meeting was keenly awaited as the two men have already clashed at a distance on issues including migration and climate change.

Mr Trump is meeting Italy’s president and prime minister.

Later, he will fly to Brussels for a Nato summit.

He earlier vowed to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace, as he ended the Middle East leg of his tour.

The US leader began his foreign trip with a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia over the weekend,urging Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation.

Much-anticipated meeting

Mr Trump and his entourage arrived at the Vatican just before 08:30 local time; the meeting was arranged at the last minute which resulted in the early start time.

The US president was greeted by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the head of the papal household, and escorted by the Swiss Guard from the Vatican courtyard to the offices of Pope Francis.Journalists who covered the initial greeting said the pair were cordial with each other. Mr Trump told the Pope “it is a great honour”.

The two men spoke privately for about 20 minutes before returning to a public arena to exchange gifts.Mr Trump gave the Pope a boxed set of writings by the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

The Pope gave Mr Trump a signed copy of a message he delivered for World Peace Day, along with some of his writings about the need to protect the environment. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” Mr Trump told him.

Source: BBC