Trump arrives in Rome for talks with the Pope
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Trump arrives in Rome for talks with the Pope

While they clash on a variety of issues, the two may find common ground in denouncing religiously inspired violence

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Fiumicino's Leonardo Da Vinci International airport, near Rome, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Riccardo Antimiani/ANSA via AP)
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Fiumicino's Leonardo Da Vinci International airport, near Rome, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Riccardo Antimiani/ANSA via AP)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — They are stylistic opposites, one a bombastic tycoon-turned-president, the other a famously modest pope. They disagree openly on such weighty issues as immigration, climate change and economic policy.

But US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis share a trait that adds drama to their first meeting Wednesday: unpredictability. And when they greet each other — in a Vatican ceremony laden with history and symbolism — they may well find common ground, particularly in denouncing religiously inspired violence and demanding Muslim leaders take a greater stand in rooting out fanaticism from their places of worship.

To reach public harmony, the two men, unquestionably two of the most famous figures on the planet, will have to set aside their past and very public conflicts.

When Trump took his oath of office on Jan. 20, Francis sent him a telegram of congratulations, offering his prayers for wisdom and strength that the new president’s decisions would be guided by ethical values.

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