Pope urges Trump to work for peace as smiles replace spats


"I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world".

President Trump - after yesterday's upbeat family meeting with Pope Francis - is expected to affirm the U.S.'s commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation at a ceremony in Brussels today, while reveling in a move by member countries to boost support for the alliance in response to Trump's campaign trail complaints about countries not paying their fair share.

Trump also met with the Belgian prime minister in Brussels.

More potentially awkward meetings await the President on the next leg of his trip to Belgium where he is attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, meeting the leaders of the European Union as well as the King, Queen and Prime Minister of Belgium.

"He is something", Trump said.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian, ' the Pope had said". "We had a fantastic meeting", he added, without addressing a shouted question on whether they discussed climate change.

A statement from the Vatican said that "satisfaction was expressed" at their "joint commitment in favor of life" and that there was hoped-for collaboration on health care, assistance to immigrants and protection of Christian communities in the Middle East. Beyond their disagreements on the environment, Francis wants the world's doors swung open to refugees, while Trump wants fewer of them in America.

The first lady laughed and said "Yes". Trump took the quip in good spirit and did not ask the pope what his favourite holy book was, nor did he respond that His Holiness must be mad to make such a comment.

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"We can use peace", Trump said.

The encounter between the pope and first lady created what's being described as a "lost in translation" scenario: public media in Slovenia (where Melania Trump is from) report that the pope was asking about potica - a traditional sweet nut roll pastry from Eastern Europe. He gave the pope a custom-bound, first-edition set of Martin Luther King Jr.'s works, an engraved stone from the King Memorial in Washington and a bronze sculpture of a flowering lotus titled "Rising Above".

In return, Pope Francis gave Trump three of his writings, which he typically gives to heads of state, including "Amoris Laetitia", "Evangelii Gaudium", and "Laudato Si'" - his 2015 encyclical calling for climate change action. "Potica?" Potica is a Slovenian dessert.

After Trump's private meeting with the Pope, Melania and others were invited to join the pair in the papal library.

Their meeting at the Vatican lasted 30 minutes.

Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judiaism, wore a hat at the Western Wall as it is customary for observant women to cover their hair. Trump, the 13th president to visit the Vatican, was also given a tour of the Sistine Chapel. Trump may be with us for a while longer yet. In Saudi Arabia, he addressed dozens of Arab leaders and urged them to fight extremists at home and isolate Iran, which he depicted as menace to the region.

Melania Trump visited a children's hospital, while Ivanka Trump went to a Catholic charity headquarters to meet women who had been trafficked as sex workers. He told the pope it was "a very great honor" to be at the Vatican.