Obama to meet Pope Francis during European trip
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Spanish Steps to pray at the statue of the Virgin Mary, in central Rome, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception feast. (AP / Alessandra Tarantino)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:21PM EST
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a weeklong European trip scheduled for March.
The White House says Obama "looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality" during their March 27 meeting. Obama also plans to meet in Rome with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Obama's trip begins March 24-25 in The Hague, Netherlands, where he will participate in a nuclear security summit hosted by the Dutch government and meet with Dutch leaders.
On March 26, Obama will travel to Brussels for an U.S.-European Union summit with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, as well as meetings with Belgian leaders and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.