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ARGENTINA | 14-01-2020 16:33

Fernández to meet Pope Francis at Vatican on January 31

The meeting – the first between the two since Fernández assumed the presidency – will take place on Friday, January 31 at 11am local time (around 7am in Argentina). 

Officials inside the government have confirmed that President Alberto Fernández will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican at the end of the month.

According to a report from the Télam state news agency, Vatican officials confirmed the details with their counterparts in the Casa Rosada earlier today.

The meeting – the first between the two since Fernández assumed the presidency – will take place on Friday, January 31 at 11am local time (around 7am in Argentina). 

According to the Vatican, the meeting will begin with a welcome in the so-called Tronetto room of the Vatican before a private one-on-one meeting in the Pope's private library and a brief exchange of gifts.

The Peronist leader previously traveled to the Holy See in August 2018 to meet the Argentine pontiff. Pope Francis also met with Fernández's partner, Fabiola Yáñez, days after the Peronist's inauguration.

On Monday, Fernández had heavily hinted a meeting would take place, telling the C5N news channel that he would travel to Europe later this month and that he would seek a meeting with the pontiff.

"Francisco knows how much I value, I love and appreciate him," said Fernaández, adding that he would love the pontiff to visit Argentina soon but that the decision was Francis' to make.

 "He must be resistant to come to Argentina for fear of being put on one side," he added.

"The Pope is not on any side, he is above all of us."

The Casa Rosada recently confirmed that career diplomat Luis Bellando would be Argentina's new ambassador to the Holy See.

– TIMES/TÉLAM/NA

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