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Published: Tuesday February 18, 2014 MYT 3:25:02 AM
Updated: Tuesday February 18, 2014 MYT 3:25:55 AM

Pope Francis renews passport as a regular Argentine

Pope Francis looks on during a private audience with Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the pontiff's library at the Vatican February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Andreas Solaro/Pool

Pope Francis looks on during a private audience with Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the pontiff's library at the Vatican February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Andreas Solaro/Pool

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Pope Francis wants to travel the world as a regular Argentine and not a privileged citizen of the Vatican City microstate, Argentina said on Monday.

The head of the Catholic Church and former bishop of Buenos Aires has asked his birth country to renew his passport and identification card, the country's interior and transportation ministry said.

"Francis specifically asked not to enjoy any privileges so his new identification card and passport have been processed through the usual administrative channels," Minister Florencio Randazzo said.

"In coming days, he will receive his passport in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, where he has stated he is a resident," Randazzo said.

Francis has opted to live in the smaller Vatican guest house instead of the official papal apartments, part of the humble lifestyle he has embraced since assuming the papacy last year.

Argentina's government, which enjoys drawing attention to the popular new pope's roots, released pictures of Francis' new identification card on Monday.

Francis already holds a passport issued by the Vatican, Randazzo said.

(Reporting by Guido Nejamkis; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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