Pope Francis is stressing unity after meeting with the president of his native Argentina, with whom he has clashed over gay marriage.

Francis and Argentine President Mauricio Macri met privately for 25 minutes Saturday at the Vatican.

In 2009, Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires when Macri was that city's mayor. The future pope was angered when Macri decided not to appeal when a gay couple sued the city for not issuing a marriage license and won.

Vatican teaching insists marriage is between a man and a woman but Macri contended changing realities must be accepted. In 2010, Argentina legalized gay marriage.

On Saturday, Francis gave Macri a medal depicting a two-branched olive tree, saying it symbolizes unity when something "in the middle doesn't work."

The Vatican called the meeting "cordial."