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President Obama To Meet With Pope Francis During March Trip To Italy

1:56 PM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
US President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 4, 2013. Obama is in Sweden for a two-day visit likely to revolve around Syria, despite the host nation's effort to draw attention to a broader agenda. ANDERS WIKLUND/AFP/Getty Images
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David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama will meet with Pope Francis on March 27, capping a European trip that will take him to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

"The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," said a statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney.

During his trip in late March, Obama will participate in a nuclear security summit in the Netherlands and a U.S.-European Union summit in Belgium.

Obama also traveled to Vatican City in 2009 to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.

Carney's statement:

"As part of the United States' ongoing consultations with our allies and partners in Europe and beyond, President Obama will travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy in March 2014. While in the Netherlands on March 24-25, the president will participate in the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by the Dutch government, where world leaders will highlight progress made to secure nuclear materials and commit to future steps to prevent nuclear terrorism. He will also hold bilateral events with Dutch officials.

"From the Netherlands, the president will travel to Brussels on March 26 for a U.S.-EU Summit with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission. This will be President Obama's first visit to the EU institutions. While in Belgium, the president will also hold bilateral events with Belgian Government officials and with the NATO Secretary General.

"The president will continue on to Vatican City on March 27 to meet with His Holiness, Pope Francis. The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality. In Rome, the president will meet with President (Giorgio) Napolitano and Prime Minister (Enrico) Letta."

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