ROME - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said during a trip to the Vatican on Saturday she had received threats by the Islamic State due to her friendship with compatriot Pope Francis and for recognising both Israel and Palestine.
Fernandez said the Security Ministry and intelligence services were now dealing with the threat by Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim extremist group which has exploited the chaos of Syria and Iraq to seize swathes of territory in both countries. "The complaint made by two police officers was because Islamic State threats had appeared against me," Fernandez told reporters at Rome's Ciampino airport after meeting Francis for lunch. She dismissed the threats, saying if she focussed on such menaces she "would have to live under the bed".
Islamic State fighters have declared war on the West and seek to establish a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God's name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop "unjust aggression"by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians.
Fernandez and Francis, who have met several times since his election as pope, had tense relations when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. But Fernandez posted a photograph on Facebook on Saturday of herself with the pope in front of a picture of Argentina's fondly-remembered late first lady Eva Peron. "We discussed (with the pope) the fact ... we defend things that upset some people," said Fernandez.
Fernandez and Francis also talked about the global financial system and Argentina's economy over lunch.