Pope Francis begins his three-day trip to Turkey with the delicate mission of strengthening ties with Muslim leaders, amid a brutal insurgency by Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Pope Francis is on a delicate mission to strengthen ties with Muslim leaders in Turkey. En route to Ankara, he acknowledged Turkey's role in assisting war-weary refugees from neighboring Iraq and Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "Turkey at this moment is the witness, and it is the one that helps so many refugees from the conflict areas." The Pontiff has repeatedly condemned violence against minorities in the Middle East. Religious tolerance and the fight against extremism are expected to be high on the agenda of his three-day trip, and discussions with President Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is sheltering close to two million refugees from Syria, driven from their homes by Islamic State insurgents. And though Pope Francis has said it's "almost impossible" to have a dialogue with the militants, he says the door should not be shut. And he says Turkey has a vital role to play.