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Pope meets with Argentine president before she ends presidential term

Argentina's president made it right on time to her fifth meeting with Pope Francis. In fact, she arrived to the Vatican a few minutes ahead of schedule, dressed in black and with a delegation of 20 people. 

"How are you? This is great. It's great to see you again.�

They met in a small studio in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, not in the Apostolic Palace where diplomatic meetings usually take place. 

"How beautiful and welcoming. This tapestry is beautiful.â? 

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met with the Pope for roughly one hour, 45 minutes which is unusually long. They discussed everything from international politics and arms trade to Argentina's national holidays. But what they didn't talk  about is Argentina's coming elections. 

CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER

President of Argentina

"Mrs. President, did you discuss Argentina's future elections and the current candidates? That is the question everyone is asking themselves.â? 

"Yes it is... It's also the question I will not answer because...�

"I have to ask it...�

"You have to ask it and I will answer it. If I had talked about that with the Pope, I wouldn't share it because it's not appropriate, but no I didn't. The truth is, we did not talk about that.â? 

As a gift, the president gave the Pope an image of Oscar Romero, which was done by an Argentine artist. Also an edition of the national poem 'Martin Fierro' which is dear to the Pope. A book on Argentina's architectural heritage and a copy of the National States and Mercosur. 

Pope Francis gave her an image of Our Lady of Tenderness which dates back to the 11th century. Before leaving, he said a few words to reporters covering the story. 

"I hope you have a good journalist day. It's a busy day, but congratulations. May God bless you and don't forget to pray for me.â? 

"If some of you don't pray because you don't believe or it goes against your conscience, please send positive vibes my way.â? 

JRB/KLH 

CTV / AA

JM

-BN

Up: MPI

#Papa