Erdoğan to Pay Two-Day Visit to Vatican, Rome
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to pay an official visit to the Vatican and Rome on Feb. 4-5, the presidential press office said on Feb. 1, reported Hurriyet Daily News.
Erdoğan will meet with Pope Francis as well as Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, said a statement by the office.
The leaders are expected to discuss bilateral relations, the latest development on Jerusalem, regional issues, the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and the fight against terrorism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.
Along with Erdoğan, Francis was one of the most prominent international leaders to criticize the United States's decision last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Erdoğan's visit will be the first Turkish presidential trip to the Vatican in 59 years.
Following his visit, Erdoğan will meet his counterpart Italian President Sergio Mattarella at a working luncheon in Rome. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will also be present.
During the meetings, the leaders will discuss cooperation in various areas, including politics, the economy and the defense industry.
The meetings will also cover the latest developments in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, Jerusalem, Turkish-EU relations, cooperation against terrorism and irregular migration.
"Italy, our strategic partner and ally with which we enjoy excellent relations, is also one of the leading economic partners of our country. President Erdoğan is also expected to receive executives of leading Italian firms during his visit to Rome," the statement added.