Obama to meet with Pope Francis in March

BY newsdesk  January 21, 2014 at 9:52 AM EDT
Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Francis will meet with President Barack Obama for the first time in March. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a 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.