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Pope Francis has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It was the first time the Russian leader has met with the pontiff.

The Vatican said in a statement that during the 35-minute audience, the two discussed "the urgency of favoring concrete initiatives to a peaceful solution to the [Syria] conflict that will favour the path of negotiations."

Putin is also scheduled to meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

On November 26, Putin will travel to Trieste for talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

It is Putin's first trip to Italy since he visited as prime minister in 2010.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP