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President Obama to meet Pope Francis in March

Barack Obama at the White House (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27, the White House has confirmed.

The meeting will be part of a European tour that will also see the US president visit the Netherlands and Belgium.

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” a White House statement said.

Shortly after the election of Pope Francis President Obama sent a letter to the Pontiff. It was delivered by a delegation that visited Rome for Francis’s installation mass, led by Vice President Joe Biden, the first Roman Catholic to be elected vice president. No details of the letter’s content were revealed.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama met Benedict XVI at the Vatican in July 2009.