US & Canada

Barack Obama to meet Pope Francis in March

US President Barack Obama is seen through a teleprompter as he speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in Washington 17 January 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Barack Obama has said he wants to focus on income inequality in the US over the next year

US President Barack Obama will visit Pope Francis on a European tour in March, the White House has said.

The White House said Mr Obama looked forward to discussing their "shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality".

While in Rome, Mr Obama will meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

He will visit the Netherlands for a nuclear security summit, and will meet Nato and Belgian officials in Belgium.

Among those Mr Obama is scheduled to meet is Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the White House said.

His visit to Belgium will include his first official trip to two EU institutions - the European Council and the European Commission.

The US president quoted Pope Francis in a speech about income inequality on December. The March visit will be the first meeting between the two men.

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