Pope meets migrants on his birthday

The group had been brought to Italy as part of an initiative by the pontiff to arrange the transfer of 50 migrants from Cyprus, following a visit earlier in the month.

The group of 12 migrants were granted a private meeting with the pope, where they wished him a happy birthday.

They also presented him with a birthday gift - a painting by an Afghan refugee depicting migrants landing on a beach in Lesbos.

In 2016 the pope visited Lesbos, then at the frontline of Europe's migration crisis, and arranged for 12 Syrian refugees to return Italy with him.

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