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Macron meets pope, talks on Ukraine, prospects for peace



French President Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis held nearly an hour of private talks on Monday.

The duo discussed mainly the crisis in Ukraine and prospects for peace.

Macron, accompanied by his wife Brigitte, arrived at the Vatican and was greeted by an honour guard of Swiss Guards in the San Damaso courtyard before taking an elevator to the official papal study in the Apostolic Palace.

The Vatican said their private talks lasted 55 minutes.

Both sides were expected to issue statements later.

Macron is in Italy to attend an international conference organised by Italy’s Sant’Egidio Community, a worldwide peace and charity group.

He and the pope will jointly close the conference at a special ceremony at the Colosseum in Rome on Tuesday.

Opening the conference on Rome’s outskirts on Sunday, Macron said he believed there was a chance for peace in Ukraine, even as Russia warned the conflict could escalate.

Ummul Idris

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