Hollande drops in on Pope

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French President Francois Hollande met Pope Francis yesterday amid continuing tensions in his private life over a magazine report about an alleged affair with an actress.

Mr Hollande did not mention the scandal or the first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, in brief remarks to reporters at The Vatican afterwards. He did not take questions, cancelling a planned press conference in favour of a statement about the issues discussed with Francis: Africa, Syria, refugees and the environment.

Vatican TV covered Mr Hollande’s visit live, showing the arrival of his motorcade, his walk accompanied by Swiss Guards and his greeting from a solemn-faced Francis in the pope’s private study.