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Erdogan is the first Turkish president to visit the Vatican in nearly six decades. Francis met with him during his 2014 trip to Istanbul.
On the eve of his departure Sunday, Erdogan said he planned to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria, the battle against terrorism, Islamophobia, and the status of the city of Jerusalem.
He said that the United States is “alone” in its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Erdogan is scheduled to meet Italy’s president and premier after the audience in the Apostolic Palace.