ROME, April 27. /TASS/. Turkey has invited Pope Francis to visit its national pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan in a move to amend ties between Ankara and the Holy See aggravated after the Pontiff used the term "genocide" to refer to the 1915 massacre of Armenians, Italian media reported on Monday.
"Pope Francis said the words which no one in Turkey and, probably, even in the Vatican, expected him to say," Turkey's Deputy Minister of Economy Adnan Yildirim told reporters during the presentation of Turkey's pavilion at Expo 2015 opening on May 1.
"We will be delighted if His Holiness will wish to visit the Turkish pavilion at Expo. If he cannot come, we will be happy to greet a Vatican delegation to assess the achievements of the Turkish civilisation," the deputy minister was quoted by Italian media as saying.
Turkey recalled its ambassador from the Vatican on April 12 just hours after Pope Francis spoke of the "first genocide of the 20th century" during a mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire.