Vatican City – US President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to use his presidency to promote global peace after meeting Pope Francis, before heading into a high-stakes summit of the world’s biggest military alliance.
Meeting for the first time, the president and the pontiff sidestepped deep differences over issues ranging from the environment to the plight of migrants and the poor.
“Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis,” a star-struck Trump wrote on Twitter before leaving Rome for Brussels and the next leg of his first overseas trip as US president.
“I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world,” the billionaire former reality TV star said.
Accompanied by his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, Trump met Francis in the private library of the Apostolic Palace, the lavish papal residence that the current pope eschews in favor of more modest lodgings.
“He is something,” Trump later said of his host. “We had a fantastic meeting.”
There was even a light-hearted moment when Francis made an apparent allusion to Trump’s imposing physical size.
“What do you feed him on? Potica?” Francis asked Melania, in a reference to a calorie-laden cake that comes from her native Slovenia and is pronounced “potteezza”. Reporters initially thought he said “pizza”.
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