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Vatican visit


Pope Francis receives Swiss president




Pope Francis with Swiss President Ueli Maurer (Keystone)

Pope Francis with Swiss President Ueli Maurer

(Keystone)

The pope has granted a private audience to Ueli Maurer, who this year holds the rotating Swiss presidency, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The 16-minute meeting took place before the swearing in of new Swiss Papal Guards.

The press office of the Holy See issued a statement following the meeting on Monday morning, saying the pope and the President held “cordial discussions” on topics including the safeguarding of human rights, the education of young people and promotion of justice and peace.

Afterwards, Maurer attended the swearing in of 36 Swiss Guards.

This traditionally takes place on May 6, when in 1527, 147 of 189 Guards died fighting the troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome in order to allow Clement VII to escape.

Since then, the Papal Guard has been responsible for the safety of the pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace. It serves as the de facto military of Vatican City.

swissinfo.ch and agencies