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Argentine President Macri will not be present during the Pope’s visit to Chile

Pope Francis (R) exchanges gifts with the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri during a private audience on February 27, 2016 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO POOL / GIORGIO ONORATI / AFP / POOL / GIORGIO ONORATI (Photo credit should read GIORGIO ONORATI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis’s native Argentina will send no special representatives to the Pontiff’s apostolic visit to neighbouring Chile this month.

President Mauricio Macri will not attend any of the Pope’s events during the visit, unlike his predecessor Christina Fernández de Kirchner, who participated in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to Paraguay.

Religión Digital says the only official Argentinian representative will be the ambassador to Chile, José Octavio Bordón, as the Chilean government has not invited any other official from the country.

Despite the lack of official representation, up to a million pilgrims from Argentina are expected to cross the border during the Pope’s visit from January 15 to 18. A spokesman for the country’s gendarmerie said the number of border guards would be reinforced during the expected mass transit next week.

The Pope’s visit to Chile will be his first foreign trip of 2018. He will visit the capital, Santiago, before moving on the to cities of Temuco and Iquique. He will then travel to Peru, visiting Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.