U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict have met at the Vatican,
following the summit of leaders of the world's eight richest countries
in Italy's earthquake-shattered town of L'Aquila.
At the start of the meeting, the pope was overheard asking Mr. Obama
about the G-8 summit. The president called it very productive. U.S.
First Lady Michelle Obama joined them toward the end of the 25-minute
meeting. The pope also privately met with the president's two
daughters, Malia and Sasha.
On leaving, Mr. Obama thanked the pontiff for the meeting and expressed hope for maintaining a strong future relationship.
No information is available about the substance of the discussions. But the pope
and Mr. Obama are known to disagree on such issues as abortion but do agree on such matters as helping the poor.
Mr. Obama is now on his way to Ghana, on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president.