Posted at: 11/24/2013 10:35 AM
After slipup, Israeli PM to meet pope next week
(AP) JERUSALEM - The Israeli prime minister’s office says Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Italy next week to meet with Pope Francis.
Sunday’s announcement follows a similar one last month that was later rescinded after the Vatican said no meeting was actually scheduled.
Netanyahu’s office says the premier will fly to the Vatican on Dec. 1 for a two-day visit that will include his first meeting with the new pope.
Francis met last month with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, who serves in a largely ceremonial position, met the head of the Catholic church in April.
The Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1993.
Francis is expected to make a visit to the Holy Land next year to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as religious leaders.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)