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Pope lunches with Argentine President Kirchner

Francis's third meeting with leader of homeland since election

17 March, 13:55
Pope lunches with Argentine President Kirchner (ANSA) - Vatican City, March 17 - Pope Francis met Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at the Vatican for lunch on Monday.

It is the third time that the Argentine pontiff has met the president of his homeland since being elected head of the Catholic Church last year.

He also met her at the Vatican soon after his election and in Brazil in July during World Youth Day.

The two reportedly had strained relations when Francis was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Kirchner, who headed a small delegation that included Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, limped into the meeting after reportedly being treated and having an x-ray at a Rome hospital for a sprained ankle. Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin also attended a meeting before the lunch.