President to Meet Pope

President to Meet Pope

President Hassan Rouhani will make his first visit to the Vatican and meet Pope Francis in the second half of January, a spokesman for the tiny city state said on Tuesday. “While no date has been set, the visit is likely to take place towards the end of the month,” spokesman Ciro Benedettini told journalists, AFP reported. Rouhani, a moderate who was elected in 2013, had been scheduled to visit the Vatican in November as part of a tour that would have taken him to Italy and France. But the trip was postponed following the Paris attacks. The previous official visit by an Iranian president to the Vatican was in 1999 when Mohammad Khatami met John Paul II, followed by another visit in 2005 when he attended the Polish pope’s funeral. IRNA reported on the same day that Rouhani is scheduled to visit Italy and France in January to explore ways of improving ties with the two major European countries.


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